Free market Capitalism to blame for unequal society

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The main reason we have food banks is that we have developed an increasingly unequal society.

The gap between the rich and poor, as well as the North-South divide, has grown. There is a vast difference between the average incomes of the rest of the UK, which makes us now one of the most unequal countries in the developed world, along with the USA. It is a result of unbridled, free market capitalism.

It is a very undemocratic, uncivilised and divided society which allows the rich to get richer off the backs of the poor.

Bankers continue to get bonuses which are now called allowances and the wealthy and profit-making businesses avoid paying taxes.

Meanwhile, the poor are penalised for being poor, in need or vulnerable. The Government have clobbered the poor, including those on low-paid and/or part-time jobs, who cannot afford to support themselves and their families independent of the state. They blame the poor for being poor.

The Government labels people as either hard-working families or scrounging shirkers to deflect from the fact it is doing nothing to curb the greed of the rich. We certainly do not live in an egalitarian and meritorious society.

This situation is storing up problems for the future and making it more difficult to build a cohesive, stable and inclusive society. Inequality has a corrosive and costly impact on societies. It erodes trust, increases anxiety and illness, as well as encourages excessive consumption.

The evidence from studies of 11 different health/social problems: physical health, mental health, drug abuse, education, imprisonment, obesity, social mobility, community life, violence, teenage pregnancies and child well-being, demonstrate that they are significantly worse in more unequal, rich countries like the UK.

It is self-evident that equality is ultimately better for everyone. The Government must change course if we are to achieve this goal.

David Penney