What does the public think about income inequality?

Here, courtesy of the latest British Social Attitudes survey (published last year) is the answer:

What is notable is that whilst overwhelming numbers agree that “the income gap is too large”, and have consistently said so over the last 20 and more years, two of the possible routes to closing the gap have consistently fallen in popularity, namely using taxes or benefits.

Instead, it is policies such as providing better educational opportunities for the least well off (pupil premium anyone?) which best fit what the public says it wants although, as other evidence shows, the case for education needs to be made and can’t just be assumed by default.

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  • Tony Dawson 29th Nov '11 - 6:57pm

    It seems quite logical that many people do not equate raising benefits with the income equalisation. which they would support Most people think that most other people should work for a living – so raising ‘benefits’ which are equated in most minds with those not working (including those who should be), are not attractive to them. Similarly, a lot of people see that “any tax on the rich is also likely to tax me”. They also do not trust the government to only tax for what is needed. You only have to look at Prescott’s redundant billion pound Fire centres to see why.

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