Making social science accessible

25 Feb 2021

Unequal Britain: attitudes to inequalities after Covid-19

major new study on attitudes to different forms of inequality in light of Covid-19 shows that one rare point of agreement among the British public is on the need to tackle geographical inequalities:

  • Britons across the political spectrum care about disparities between deprived and better-off areas, chiming with the government’s focus on “levelling up”.
  • Views on inequalities between different ethnic groups are comparatively more divided.
  • Gender equality comes low on the country’s list of priorities.
  • Britons’ focus on hard work and ambition means they tend to have a relatively unforgiving view of those who have lost their jobs during the crisis.
  • Appetite for change to tackle inequalities is still strongly influenced by people’s pre-existing political beliefs, indicating the pandemic has not shifted views.

The research was conducted in partnership with the Policy Institute at King’s College London, to inform the Institute for Fiscal Studies Deaton Review of Inequalities.

Based on a nationally representative survey of over 2,000 people, the study is the most comprehensive examination to date of attitudes towards different types of inequality in the context of the Covid-19 crisis.

The report was written by Professor Bobby Duffy, Dr Kirstie Hewlett, Rachel Hesketh, Dr Rebecca Benson and Dr Alan Wager. 

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