What Can be Done to Reduce Inequality?

16 February 2018

Speakers: Rachel Lomax, Ed Miliband, David Willetts
Chair: John Hills

Hosted by the Department of Social Policy, III, STICERD

In this panel discussion, leading public figures consider the political issues associated with reducing inequality.

Can inequality be reduced? How? In his 2015 book, Inequality. What Can Be Done?, Professor Sir Tony Atkinson set out a portfolio of policies for reducing inequality.

Atkinson’s book set out 15 policy proposals for inequality reduction plus several ‘ideas to pursue’, arguing that the measures were both desirable and feasible. But securing their implementation would require securing political support. The event, celebrating Tony's life and work, will consider the extent to which practical realities of politics constrain the extent to which policies for inequality reduction such as those of Atkinson and others can be introduced.

The Twitter hashtag for this event was: #LSEAtkinsonInequality

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What Can be Done to Reduce Inequality? What Can be Done to Reduce Inequality?


Rachel Lomax has experience in the public and private sectors, plus a deep knowledge of the operations of the UK government and financial system. Her previous appointments include Deputy Governor, Monetary Stability, at the Bank of England (BoE) and a member of the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee; Permanent Secretary at the UK Government Departments for Transport and Work and Pensions and the Welsh Office; and Vice President and Chief of Staff to the President of the World Bank.

Ed Miliband was Leader of the Labour Party as well as Leader of the Opposition between 2010 and 2015. He became the Member of Parliament (MP) for Doncaster North in 2005, being re-elected in 2010, 2015, and 2017, and served in the Cabinet from 2007-10 under Prime Minister Gordon Brown. A graduate of Oxford and the LSE, Ed Miliband has been a television journalist, Labour Party researcher and visiting scholar at Harvard University. He has been Chairman of HM Treasury's Council of Economic Advisers. Ed Miliband writes extensively on inequality issues.

David Willetts is the Executive Chair of the Resolution Foundation. He served as the Member of Parliament for Havant (1992-2015), as Minister for Universities and Science (2010-2014) and previously worked at HM Treasury and the No. 10 Policy Unit. Lord Willetts is a visiting Professor at King’s College London, Governor of the Ditchley Foundation, Chair of the British Science Association and a member of the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. He is an Honorary Fellow of Nuffield College Oxford. Lord Willetts has written widely on economic and social policy.