Social Mobility

Treasury written question – answered on 6th February 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Kennedy of Cradley Baroness Kennedy of Cradley Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the structural economic disparities in the UK that affect social mobility.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Department for International Development

Income inequality is lower than it was in 2010, supported by gains in the employment rate since the financial crisis. Growth in employment rates has particularly benefitted the poorest fifth of households, whose employment rate is now more than 7 percentage points higher than in 2007/08 – more than anywhere else in the income distribution.

The UK has the 5th lowest level of persistent poverty in the EU. Furthermore, the most recent analysis by the Department for Work and Pensions has shown that, of those surveyed in 2015-16, 53% of those in the bottom income quintile in 2010-11 were in a higher income quintile in 2015-16.

The government is also taking steps to improve education for every child – with 95% of all early years’ settings now rated Good or Outstanding – up from 68% in 2010; the attainment gap is narrowing; record rates of disadvantaged 18 year olds are getting into university; and the Chief Ofsted inspector said in her latest annual report that ‘more education funding [is] now being directed at disadvantaged pupils than more affluent ones, addressing historic inequities’.

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