Causes Of Income & Wealth Inequality Flashcards Preview

Modern Studies: social mobility > Causes Of Income & Wealth Inequality > Flashcards

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1

Introduction

Inequalities in income and wealth have been increasing over a number of years, the U.K. And Scottish government define poverty as a household's income. There are many causes of income and wealth inequality such as gender, ethnicity, and elderly however, this essay will argue that the main cause of income and wealth inequality is the introducing of universal credit upon low income families.

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Universal Credit

-Universal credit is a benefit system which. Is a monthly payment for some people living in England and Scotland. The way in which its calculated has resulted in a number of low-income families unable to predict how much they need to be paid each month causing them to go into debt and unable to budget. E.g. One cause of a working couple with two children who cinch claiming UC have seen monthly payments fluctuate between £1,185-£0 due to lay debt and assessment period clashes. This has left families finding it impossible to budget and are now in rent arrears.

- However, this has said to boost motivation as it distinguishes between those who are on benefits and work at the same time complex to those on benefits and don't work i.e. Are to lazy to work. David Gauwk, Pension secretary has said 'universal credit is giving more people opportunity to get into work and progress in work.' He said more than 250,000 more people will be in work. This indicates that universal credit is helping low-income families progressing in work and finding better jobs that will remove them from poverty.

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Gender.

-Many individuals face huge barriers in relation to income, education, health and the workplace due to discrimination and sexism. Women in particular are still facing barriers in recusing social equality. For instance, erase arch has proven that women are more likely to do better in education however, the glass ceiling is preventing women from rising to the upper rungs of the cooperate ladder. 73% of women felt that barriers still exist for women seeking senior management and board-level positions. Only 20% of Board members of the top 350 companies in the UK are women, showing that there is a gender inequality. This has impacted women as they are constantly remaining in the same level, below men, indicating that they’ll always struggle with income more than men.

-However, it could be argued that a potential reason for why women are not getting promoted is because they're choosing not to. Many women decide to work-part time to choose to look after their families, although women do better in education than men, they are more likely to choose subjects of the arts or literature, etc. Than STEM subjects, which men are more likely to pursue and which pay more. This indicates that inequality isn’t happening because of sexism or discrimination but because women make the decision to choose jobs which earn less.

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Ethnicity

-Although the UK could be described as culturally and ethnically diverse, individuals from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds often suffer inequalities with regard to income, employment, education and health as a result of poverty, discrimination and race. A review by the Equality and Human Rights commission said ‘ black graduates earn on average 23.1% less than white graduates and that unemployment rates are significantly higher for ethnic minorities. This indicates that ethnic minority individuals are facing discrimination and racism making it difficult for them to stay out of wealth/income inequality if what they earn isn’t enough or if the colour of their skin is preventing them to find employment.

-However, the government said 'real progress' was being made with black and ethnic minority employment rates at their highest levels for 15 years. Between 2004 and 2017, the employment rate went up in all ethnic groups; 2017 saw the highest rate of employment, with 75% of the working age population (people aged 16 to 64) employed overall- around 29.9 million people. Bangladeshis and Pakistani by 55% and Black ethnic by 67%. This indicates that employment rates for ethnic minorities over the past 13 years have increased by more than half showing that there has been improvements, also showing that many of these ethnic minorities are slowly coming out of inequality.

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Elderly

-Many pensioners are suffering from fuel poverty, which is we hen your fuel costs are higher than the average. It’s considered that a household is in fuel poverty if their required to pay more than 10% of its income on fuel. If over 20% of income is required, then they are considered as being in extreme fuel poverty. The number of households in fuel poverty in Scotland is 26.5% or 649,000 and the number in extreme fuel poverty in Scotland is 7.5% or 183,000. Effects of fuel poverty on pensioners is misery, discomfort, ill health and debt. Those struggling to pay their bills ration their use of energy, by just heating one room or making the choice between cooking a hot meal and turning on a heater.

-However, it can be argued that many pensioners are actually rich and are better off than most elderly. The average pensioner (aged 65+) are better off than 60% of the population, indicating that elderly isn’t a cause of income/wealth inequality as many rich elderly is actually increasing. Which shows that many old people won’t need to decide if they can have a hot meal or if they should turn the heater on.