In a Financial Times op-ed, Matthew Engel says
This month, it was revealed that the UK’s Gini coefficient, measuring inequality between rich and poor, had reached its highest level on record — after the longest period of Labour government ever. You do not have to be a Labour voter to wonder what, then, has been the point of it all.
I wouldn’t want to offer a full-scale defense of the Labour governments’ strategy (see ch. 11 of this book for my views), but there is a reasonable response to this particular challenge. Inequality of market incomes has been increasing almost everywhere. Arguably, it has risen less, and government has done more to mitigate its impact, under Labour than would have been the case under the Conservatives. It’s impossible to know that for certain, of course, but the following data on inflation-adjusted income growth during the most recent periods of Conservative and Labour rule are consistent with this assertion.