Revelations about MP expense claims and the well-documented excesses of the bankers illustrate some of the most damaging effects of inequality -- selfishness, greed and corruption. Living in a country with large income differences makes everyone more aware of class, social position, wealth and poverty: it makes the differences matter more. It reduces self-worth so fuelling consumerism and the desire for possessions which denote status.

The UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world and, as a direct result, has some of the worst levels of health and social problems. There is a wealth of statistical evidence that in addition to promoting status competition and greed, greater income inequality makes societies more dysfunctional in many other ways. For example, more equal societies do better on child well-being, obesity, community cohesion, teenage birth rates, mental health, levels of trust, infant mortality, imprisonment rates and violence. The benefits of greater equality are experienced by almost everyone within society, rich as well as poor.[2]  

/*Professor Richard Wilkinson, Co-Director of The Equality Trust, said:*/

"/The answer is not just tighter regulation, it is also greater equality. The larger the income differences, the greater the social divisions and the weaker community life becomes. Greater equality is healing. It reduces the status competition and status anxiety which drive consumerism. " /[1]


The Equality Trust campaigns for greater equality of income as the best way to create a better society. For more information please visit