House of Commons Library briefing paper: Income Inequality in the UK

Recent projections suggest that levels of income inequality are likely to increase over the coming years if government policy does not change.

This is according to the March 2018 research briefing paper on income inequality from the House of Commons Library.

The briefing focuses on inequality in disposable incomes (after benefits and after direct taxes).

The report finds:

  • In 2016/17, 41% of all disposable household income (before deducting housing costs) in the UK went to the 20% of people with the highest household incomes, while 8% went to the lowest-income 20%
  • A couple (without children) with an income below £248 per week would have been in the 10% of people with the lowest household incomes in 2016/17
  • Inequality in household incomes in the UK has remained at a roughly similar level since the early 1990s, but is higher than during the 1960s and 1970s
  • Following the 2008 recession, there was a small fall in income inequality as higher income households saw a larger fall in income in real terms (i.e. after adjusting for inflation) than households at the bottom of the distribution.

Read the full report .