Inequality. One word which can cover so much in our society. We are affected by different types of inequality in the UK today such as the gap between the rich and poor, gender, race and also, the inequality between different generations.
In this short blogpost I would like to cover just a few of the issues that we are facing today. The gap between the rich and poor is widening continuously regardless of the recession that we had to go through. I’m still in shock from hearing that the gap between the rich and poor today is greater than it was at the time of the Wall Street Crash. The fact that even after the financial troubles, which the UK has been facing since 2007, there is still no difference between how the majority of us live, is frightening.
A clear example of the widening gap is the amount of food banks that are opening up in local communities. According to the Trussell Trust, there has been a 163% increase in foodbank use in the last year. I have worked with various foodbanks and have seen the people who use these facilities. Most are ashamed of actually going to the foodbank and having to admit, to themselves, that they cannot afford basic things such as food. It is important that politicians take note of this, and look at raising the quality of living conditions for those who are worst off in the UK.
Another really important issue for a lot of young people, is that they do not have the opportunity to buy a house for themselves. Due to inflation, as well as the lack of control on how much housing prices are rising by, means that we either have to rent a place or stay with parents. Whereas I feel that the generation of ‘baby-boomers’ have not had that problem and therefore the majority don’t understand how this is effecting the young. In our society, we are expected to get on the ‘property ladder’ but how can the young hope to achieve that when property costs are so astronomical.
So, how is inequality affecting the young of the UK today? We are worse off and have been for a while. We cannot hope to reach the same goals that society sets for us, as our parents did, in the majority of instances. The two issues that I have raised here are also linked to others, such as the unequal amount of pay that is earned by men and women, even when they have the same job positions. The sad truth is that race also has an impact on how society views you and what opportunities you get.
Surely politicians should look at lessening inequality so that we as the young, have better chances in life to be able to reach our goals. This is why it is important that the UK tackles inequality through agreeing a new SDG framework that will apply as much to us as the rest of the world.
By Nika Savenko, part of the action/2015 Youth Panel network.
For more information on the action/2015 campaign and youth click here. The action/2015 Youth Panel is co-facilitated by British Youth Council, BOND, Islamic Relief, Progressio and Restless Development and Y Care International.