Britain’s poor are poorer than ever

The poorest 20 percent of UK households earn just $9,530 annually, a dramatically lower rate than in other countries with a similar average income, according to new research.

Few Britons would probably agree with the observation that “life is much worse (in the UK) than it is for the poorest fifth in virtually every other northwest European country,” but that is exactly the conclusion the High Pay Centre, an independent British think-tank, has made in a newly released study.

Using figures from the OECD Better Life Index, the report shows that average UK household incomes of $53,785, which makes up the wealthiest 20 percent in the UK, ranked third in EU countries, lagging behind Germany and France.

But that is where the economic similarities between the UK and the EU come to a screeching halt.

The OECD estimates the average income of the bottom 20 percent of UK households at just $9,530, which is significantly lower than the poorest 20 percent in France ($12,653), Germany ($13,381), Belgium ($12,350), the Netherlands ($11,274) and Denmark ($12,183).

The report revealed Britain’s rapid decline from economic equality in just a few decades.

“Since 1960, Britain has gone from being more economically equal than Sweden to being one of the most unequal countries in the developed world,” according to the High Pay Centre. “Of the 32 members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) only Portugal, Israel, the United States, Turkey, Mexico and Chile are more unequal than the UK.”

Source: High Pay Centre study

Source: High Pay Centre study

In fact, the think-tank said marginalized UK living standards are much closer to those of former Eastern bloc countries, such as Slovenia and the Czech Republic.

Read the rest of this article in the RT here: http://rt.com/business/166516-uk-poverty-study-income/

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