London, Aug.20 : The gap between rich and poor in Britain has doubled over the past 30 years and is now the widest of any country in Europe, a report has warned. The TUC union study found that while disposable income for the wealthiest in society has risen to more than 700 pounds a week, that of the poorest has only gone up marginally - and is still less than 200 pounds.
It claims more Britons are living below the breadline than 20 years ago, and that no other European country has such a gulf between rich and poor.
According to The Telegraph, the report also claims inequality dramatically affects children's chances in life, with babies born to poor mothers more likely to develop health problems in later life, and working-class pupils half as likely to get five good GCSEs as their wealthier classmates.
It comes just a day after the Conservatives accused Gordon Brown of making Britain a less fair place over the past decade by overseeing a widening gap between rich and poor in health, education, living standards and tax.
The TUC is now calling on the Government to put an extra three billion pounds into benefits in order to meet its pledge of eradicating child poverty by 2020.
The TUC's report, called Poverty and Inequality and Children, draws on official data from the Office for National Statistics, Eurostat and HM Revenue and Customs as well as reports from academics and charities to show how inequality has grown in recent decades, and how it harms the health, education and well-being of children.