Monday, 20 October 2014

Rising crime and racial ghettos price for growing gap between rich and poor

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The Mirror, 20/10/14

A vast and widening gap between the rich and poor will result in more gated communities, rising crime and racial ghettos, according to an alarming report.

The study, to be published today, insists that the lack of integration between different groups will create a more divided country in the future.


And it will cost the UK as much as £6billion, as areas become more deprived and fewer people get access to well-paid jobs.

“This is a vision of a society that should never come to exist,” says the report by the Social Integration Commission. “But the seeds of its existence are currently being sown by our failure to acknowledge the problem.

“Democracy risks being weakened as who we vote for will be determined by our ethnicity, age and social grade. A person’s ability to get a job will be determined by whom they know and where they’re from, not their ability.”

Matthew Taylor, chair of the SIC, added: “We are ringing an early alarm bell. There are already real costs to our economy for not taking sufficient action to promote social integration.

“Unless we pull down the barriers that can divide us, ethnic and social divisions in our schools could grow, gated communities could become the norm, and widespread distrust and fear of crime could rise.”

The warning was underlined by Alan Milburn, the Government’s adviser on social mobility, who said the country was in danger of becoming “divided” between the haves and have-nots.

The former Labour Cabinet minister will today publish figures showing the under 30s are being priced out of the housing market, are earning less and finding it harder to break into the jobs market.

The average pay for 22 to 29-year-olds is £9.73 an hour – over 10% lower than it was in 2006.

For 18 to 21-year-olds, the average pay is £6.73 an hour, 8.8% lower than 2006.

Mr Milburn said: “Those without wealthy parents are condemned to being on the wrong side of the divide that is opening up in British society. This recession has been particularly hard on young people.”

“We are nowhere near the Chancellor’s objective of ‘full employment’ for young people.”

In his 2014 State of the Nation report, Mr Milburn is expected to slam George Osborne for wanting to cut in-work benefits if re-elected and hit out at plans to raise the tax threshold to £12,500.

*Figures have revealed that of the 661 working class candidates who applied for Whitehall jobs in 2013, only three were accepted. Instead, 286 civil service positions went to applicants whose parents work in senior management.  

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