She claimed: “All of those things will help tackle inequality, which has been improving.” She had clearly forgotten that just over two weeks ago Ms Harman launched a report on inequalities in the UK which revealed that under Labour inequality has grown to the highest level since just after the Second World War. The report by the National Equality Panel looked at two different measures of inequality, both found that Labour failed to narrow the gap between the rich and poor:
“The first measure is the 90:10 ratio which we have been using above, which is one way of summarising inequality across the bulk of the population ... It declined in the mid-1990s and again at the start of the 2000s, but grew between 2004-05 and 2007-08, so that the latest figure available exceeds its value of ten years before.”
“The second summary index for inequality is the Gini coefficient. This (expressed as a percentage) takes a value from zero, if everyone has the same income, to 100 if one person has all the income and everyone else none. It is affected by income differences at every point in the distribution, including at the very top and bottom as well as in the middle. Given the increasing incomes of those at the very top in particular, this index fell less rapidly than the 90:10 ratio in the mid-1990s and first part of this decade, and the increasing inequality after 2004-05 meant that by 2007-08 it had reached its highest level in the years covered. We do not have figures before 1961 on this basis, but comparison with measures based on tax records suggests that this is the highest level of income inequality since soon after the Second World War.”
(National Equality Panel, An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK: A Report of the National Equality Panel, January 2010, p39
Harriet went on to claim: “The Conservatives in the House of Commons voted against the Equality Bill.”
Actually they didn't. The Tories welcomed the Bill. They tabled a reasoned amendment on the Equality Bill at Second Reading in the Commons and abstained at 3rd reading because of specific concerns they had about elements of the Bill. To say they voted against the Bill is inaccurate.
Thirdly, she claimed: “There’s fewer people unemployed, there’s an increase in jobs in this country than there were when we first came in and unemployment is one of the major issues if you are trying to tackle inequality.”
Fact: Unemployment currently stands at 2.458 million, compared to 2.050 million in May 1997.
Three strikes and she's out?