Feb 26, 2019

Gap between rich and poor starts to widen

Income inequality between the richest and poorest in the UK widened last year, official figures show, as benefits were squeezed but wages rose. The average income of the poorest fifth, in contrast, shrunk by 1.6%. The growing gap is a reversal of the trend seen in the past decade, during which income inequality reduced. Last year saw a "Levelling off" of income after it had been rising at an average of 2.2% a year since 2013, the ONS said. It has calculated that the top 1% took home 7.1% of total household disposable income in the UK. This level had been consistent between 2011 and 2018, the ONS said, but the richest individuals' share of income had fallen since prior to the financial crisis. The incomes of the poorest fifth of the UK population fell last year.

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