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The widening the gap between the “haves and have-nots”

Fears that rising debt levels in UK are widening the gap between the “haves and have-nots”.  The richest 10% of the global population now own more than three-quarters of all wealth in the world according to the 2022 World Inequality Report – and there are fears that rising debt levels could “widen the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots'”.

Higher levels of UK public and household debt have been linked to increased wealth inequality, which refers to the unequal distribution of assets such as money and property in society.

It was the 2022 World Inequality Report that revealed that the richest 10% lay claim to 76% of the world’s wealth and Coventry University‘s Professor Glauco De Vita has secured a prestigious funding grant from The Leverhulme Trust, a national organisation that provides funding for research in subjects relating to injustices, to carry out research which aims to encourage Governments to create a more equal and sustainable future by trying to drive change in current policies.

Prof De Vita, an academic in International Business Economics in Coventry University’s Centre for Business in Society, said: “Rising debt levels and the widening of the uneven distribution of wealth are arguably two of the most concerning societal, political and economic issues in many economies of the West. In the UK these trends are particularly evident, yet little is known on how public and household debt affect the top wealth shares of the wealth distribution.

“This research will be the first to investigate empirically whether rising levels of UK public and household debt benefit the wealthy and thus widen the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’.”

With increased pressure on Governments to reduce inequality while supporting people through the cost of living crisis, Prof De Vita believes that the research is now more important than ever.

He said: “The study will be of significance beyond academia, with important implications for policymakers in the UK and internationally. Wealth inequality is not a phenomenon that can be left to fate or as a casual by-product of existing economic conditions, it can be reversed through policies and reforms. The same can be said about growing public debt.”

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