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Unequal Britain: attitudes to inequalities after Covid-19

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Our study on attitudes to different forms of inequality in light of Covid-19 finds that one rare point of agreement among the British public is on the need to tackle geographical inequalities:

  • Britons across the political spectrum care about disparities between deprived and better-off areas, chiming with the government’s focus on “levelling up”.
  • Views on inequalities between different ethnic groups are comparatively more divided.
  • Gender equality comes low on the country’s list of priorities.
  • Britons’ focus on hard work and ambition means they tend to have a relatively unforgiving view of those who have lost their jobs during the crisis.
  • Appetite for change to tackle inequalities is still strongly influenced by people’s pre-existing political beliefs, indicating the pandemic has not shifted views.

The research was conducted by the Policy Institute at King’s College London, in collaboration with the UK in a Changing Europe, to inform the Institute for Fiscal Studies Deaton Review of Inequalities.


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The Policy Institute and Ipsos MORI also looked at how attitudes to inequality in Britain compare with those in other countries around the world.

The research found that, by international standards, the British public are particularly concerned about geographical inequalities – but among the least likely to be worried about gender inequality,