It’s not just inequality that is rising rapidly; insecurity is too

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The Resolution Foundation has a new report out on the earnings of the self-employed. As they note:

Our analysis finds that self-employed weekly earnings are 20 per cent lower than they were in 2006-07, while employee earnings have fallen by just 6 per cent. The drop has been seen across genders and industries but is particularly notable among people of prime earning age (35 to 50 years old) whose earnings are 26 per cent lower. As a result, the typical self-employed person now earns 40 per cent less than the typical employed person.

My own research, based on HMRC and ONS data, indicates similar trends.

When this is happening at the same time as many new employments are zero hours based what the government is doing is forcing the burden of risk bearing onto those least bale to bear it in society - that is those with the lowest income. So just as we now know inequality, especially concerning wealth, is rising rapidly, insecurity is also increasing exponentially as risk is being passed from those with the capacity to bear it to those who have not.

When somebody asks you why wealth inequality matters it is this capacity to bear risk that has to be a major part of the answer. A rapidly diminishing number of people have that capacity in our society and yet the government is demanding that more and more people bear that risk themselves as the safety net of social security is withdrawn.

This is why action to tackle inequality is needed, and it has to start with a living wage that provides freedom from fear. That's the exact opposite of what this government is offering.