So the General Election that we all knew was coming is finally out in the open. How should you vote? How should we decide how to vote?
I think that there is a single issue that we should all be asking our prospective representatives about: income equality. If you get a chance to speak to those seeking your vote, ask them simply this: how will your policies decrease the gap between the richest and poorest?
Why? Because, as I’ve blogged here before, income inequality is the single most important factor when it comes to impacting outcomes across a huge range of measures. Obesity, teenage pregnancy, drug misuse, violent crime, prison populations, mental health problems, community tension…. all of these increase with increased inequality. So, as has been so brilliantly been set out in The Spirit Level, if we want to make people healthier, reduce crime, increase community cohesion, reduce the number of people in prison and make people happier we should focus not just on throwing money at these problems, but at reducing income inequality.
This is what you need to ask of each party’s policies. And if it doesn’t add up, they shouldn’t get your vote. If you want to go ahead and ask, then click here to be put straight through to your MP or other representative, visit The Equality Trust’s website to explore the evidence for yourself, or watch this rather brilliant short film which outlines the issues: