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The Observer: "Britain is scared to face the real issue – it's all about inequality"

"The growing gap between rich and poor precipitated the last crash. Ominously, the same forces are abroad again"

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"It's inequality, stupid. It's inequality that is behind poverty, ill-health, and the growth of the welfare bill. It's inequality propelling the escalating demand for credit. It's inequality that has created our fragile banking system and its still feral proclivities. It's inequality that has provoked the collapse in productivity, and the stagnation in innovation and investment – evident before the financial crisis and even more so now. This is the truth that cannot yet be spoken.

"... Britain today: At the bottom, a world of food banks, payday lending, and quiet desperation. And at the top, an extravagantly paid elite. Social ills ranging from obesity to depression become ever more entrenched. Yet this same inequality creates a fragile, enterprise-averse banking system, an escalating credit boom, overpriced homes and a low-investment, low-innovation economy. It is also inequality behind so much extra public spending – on housing benefit, policing, care and remedial interventions.

"Societies as unequal as Britain's are profoundly dysfunctional. The inequality that drove the last crash is even greater now and, ominously, the same forces are abroad again. The recovery cannot hold unless we address inequality; our politicians must rebuild the institutions they have so carelessly trashed. Inequality must be tackled head on."

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