We were pleased to be invited recently to make a submission to the IPPR's consultation on wealth and ownership as part of their ongoing Commission on Economic Justice. Our submission can be read in full here and our conclusions are as follows:
To make any significant progress in distributing wealth in the UK more fairly we will need both pre-distributive and re-distributive measures that are radical and far reaching in scale. This brings us up hard against the realities of power and politics as they are now.
With regards to redistribution, a massive economic, social and political argument will need to be won that defeats the prevailing idea of redistribution being some sort of penal confiscation. The case for taxation being the price we pay for civilisation will have to be massively ramped up and relentlessly promoted such that those arguing against it are seen as selfish, wrong and even dangerous in their recklessness. They should be cast as being morally, economically and socially on the wrong side of history and also as ignoring the best available evidence that favours a transition to a more just and equitable society.
Even in terms of the pre-distributive changes needed, there will be considerable resistance to what will be seen as infringements on the rights of property owners. For example, why would a company or its current shareholders agree to give even a portion of its shares to the workforce? What would the world have to look like - what economic, social and political changes would need to be in place for such a scenario to happen on a regular basis?
We welcome this initiative from IPPR and we hope our submission helps and we also hope that the final work that flows from this consultation will address the hard power realities of the world as it is and recommend equally tough political actions to change it.
Please do share this blog and our submission widely via all your networks. Thank you very much.
The Equality Trust