The article and adverts which introduce this chapter reflect the disparity of income and wealth in Britain. There is evidence to show that the poor are getting poorer and the rich richer. The growing differential is confirmed by data from the Family Expenditure Survey. Table 8.1 shows the population divided up into fifths or quintiles and tells us the proportion of total income each group earns. The top fifth of the population gained progressively throughout the 1980s but the bottom three-fifths received a smaller proportion of total income. In the late 1980s the top category received over 40 per cent of total income while the bottom group had less than 6 per cent.
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