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Report: U.K. rich-poor gap wider

Jan. 27, 2010 at 2:19 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The inequality gap in Britain between those with the most wealth and those with the least is the widest it has been in the post-World War II era, a report says.

The National Inequality Panel said Britain has one of the highest poverty rates in Western Europe, behind only Italy, Spain and Greece, The Daily Telegraph reported. The report said Britain is more unequal than most other industrialized countries, and the wealth gap is wider in England than in Scotland or Wales.

"It matters more in Britain who your parents are than in many other countries," the report said.

Harriet Harman, minister for women and inequality, commissioned the report two years ago. In a speech last week, Harman suggested a Conservative majority in the coming election would lead to even greater inequality although the report comes after almost 13 years of Labor government.

The panel found wealth has a huge impact on educational results, with white boys from poor families lagging behind middle-class boys at age 7, a gap that widens even more by the time they are 11.

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