Today some alarming social equality data was released. It said what we all know: if you are poor, you have less opportunities in life. For every £100 a month less income than the median you start school one month behind developmentally. Your vocabulary aged 5 is half what it is for a rich kid if you are in the bottom ten percent of income.
Housing tenure stats are even worse.
"Only 4 per cent of those of working age living in social housing have degrees, and nearly half have no or only low qualifications. Only half of men and 42 per cent of women of working age living in social housing are in paid work, compared with 89 per cent of men and 81 per cent of women in households with a mortgage."
Social housing: by its nature, is grouped (london people ignore this, you are the freaks not the norm). That means that we have allowed ghettoes of poverty and low attainment (not just in a SATS way either).
Now it would be easy, and some daft Tory has already done it, to pin this on Labour. BUT. The seeds of this are in two places: first the mid 1960s decision by Harold MacMillian, that said that council housing was not a suitable means of permanent generational living. We should all aspire to home ownership. At that point build quality declined and a two tier living scenario was created.
Now add Thatcher's pseudo aristocratic idea that we should allow people to buy their own home from the council: and you get a clear hierarchy. Top of pile= people who never lived in council housing, bottom of pile= people who have to live in council housing. Result= ghetto.
What we are living in now is the generational consequence. Working aspirational people have been removed from these communities, leaving them labelled as places to get out of.
There are some exceptions to this I accept, but thats the pattern.
More equal societies place less value on home ownership. Fact.
If people vote Tory this year, its a vote for consigning another generation to this miserable system. Reduction in inheritance tax (a Biblically condoned tax, ney a way of life), will reinforce the divide. The rich will get richer: The promise to deal with 'causes' will I suspect gut all child poverty programmes. I suspect milk will even go again.
Please don't do it.