Rich getting richer while poor get poorer, official figures show

Incomes of richest fifth of households grow by 4.7 per cent – while poorest fifth of households suffer a 1.6 per cent fall

The rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer, according to official statistics, dealing a heavy blow to Theresa May’s claim to be tackling “burning injustices”.

They showed the incomes of the richest fifth of households grew by 4.7 per cent last year – while the incomes of the poorest fifth of households fell by 1.6 per cent.

The respected Resolution Foundation thinktank blamed the controversial freeze on benefit levels, adding to problems caused by higher inflation following the Brexit referendum.

As thelondoneconomic reported Adam Corlett, the organisation’s senior economic analyst, said: “The deeper income squeeze for poorer households has been driven by government policy” in the think tank’s damning report.

John McDonnell MP, Labour’s shadow chancellor, added: “Today’s evidence of surging income inequality shows that this Tory government is not creating an economy that works for the many.”

The Resolution Foundation recently warned that weak income growth and benefit cuts will send child poverty hit to record levels by 2022.

Late last year the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, said the UK Government’s policies are entrenching high levels of poverty and inflicting unnecessary misery in one of the richest countries in the world.

He said: “What goes along with that is a sense that we should make the system as unwelcoming as possible.

“That people who need benefits should be reminded constantly that they are lucky to get anything.

“That nothing will be made easy” and “that sanctions should be harsh, should be immediate and should be painful”.

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