Narrowing the Gap, the final report of the Fabian Commission on life chances and child poverty, sets out a strategy for tackling inequality in Britain today. The report sets out the facts about unequal Britain- where one in five children are growing up in poverty and where life chances are. Children of working-class parents are twice as likely to die before their first birthday, half as likely to get five good GCSE grades, and fifteen times less likely to end up as middle-class as their peers who are born to professional parents.
Narrowing the Gap sets out why reducing inequalities in life chances is essential to making Britain fairer. It examines how the public argument for a more equal society can be won, drawing on the Commission’s original research into public attitudes to argue that a life chances approach can build a wider coalition than an exclusive focus on poverty would achieve. It sets out a challenging policy reform agenda, arguing that this must be central to the 2007 comprehensive spending review if the government is to halve child poverty by 2010 and reduce inequalities in life chances.
This will take a significant commitment of resources and political will. With each of the major political parties now using the language of social justice, this report sets out a credibility test by which visions of a more equal society can be judged. Narrowing the Gap seeks to put the goal of equalising life chances at the heart of a new progressive consensus in British politics.