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Is the UK becoming a divided society?

A recent TUC report has suggested that the UK society has become one of the most unequal and diverse in Europe over the last 30 years. In a move which is probably designed to highlight the fact that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, the study appears to show those in the "middle earners" bracket have seen their incomes fail to keep pace with middle-class workers and those in higher paid professions. So what exactly is going on?

The TUC has defined middle Britain as the 20% in the UK earning between £15,038 and £22,388 a year. The figures show that on average over the last 30 years their income has increased by 60% while those in the top bracket have seen their incomes increase by 78%. While this is a significant difference is also worthwhile remembering there have been a number of changes in the UK taxation system, some beneficial and some not so beneficial, regarding those on large salaries. However, it is also obvious that those in higher paid positions have enjoyed above-average salary increases for some time often at the expense of those further down the employment chain.

Over the next few months, as we move towards the next general election, it is almost inevitable that we will see the production and publication of many similar reports as political parties in the country fight it out for the popular vote.

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