OECD says UK rich-poor divide is the widest in developed world

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London, Oct.21 : An Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report has found that the gap between rich and poor people in the United Kingdom is one of the widest in the developed world.

According to The Telegraph, the gap in earnings widened by 20 per cent between 1985 and 2005.

While both the richest and poorest have been getting richer, the bottom has experienced a growth in earnings three times as large as the top, the OECD report said.

The report does not include the earnings of the super-rich - a group it describes as "large and rising".

The report says that unemployment is a significant problem in the UK. It found that in 16 per cent of all households, a working-age head was jobless.

"Only Belgium, Germany and Hungary have more people in households where no one has a job," the authors said.

The researchers also discovered that the proportion of single-parent households in the UK has increased almost three times as fast as the OECD average, and now account for about 7 per cent of the total population.

However, the report found that poverty has fallen significantly in the UK, with income poverty - the number of households on less than half average income - falling from 10 per cent to 8 per cent between the mid-1990s and 2005.

Meanwhile, the number of UK children living in poverty fell from 14 per cent to 10 per cent in the same period - "the second largest fall - behind Italy".

However, the rate of child poverty remains a cause for concern, standing above levels recorded in the 1970s and 1980s.

ANI

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