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[Image: Thinkstock.]

[Image: Thinkstock.]

I have doubts about this.

Maybe improved childcare could have a positive effect, many years from now, but I don’t see it helping immediately.

I don’t see how it would close the gap between female and male pay, although reducing worries about the cost of looking after children certainly might help families remain together. What about other reasons for them splitting, though?

There is no possibility of a meaningful rise in the minimum wage (don’t patronise us by calling it a “National Living Wage”, Tories) or a link between benefits and inflation while we have a Conservative government.

Nor will the regions and devolved legislatures receive anything from a Tory central government.

Perhaps the research demonstrates exactly how its suggestions can be implemented but without that piece of the puzzle, this is building castles in the sky.

Improved childcare has been identified as the single policy that could do most to reduce income inequality, in research at Heriot-Watt University.

That could be allied to closing the gap between women’s and men’s pay, and finding ways to help families remain together.

Raising the minimum wage and linking benefits to inflation is seen as effective.

A boost to the regions and nations of Britain would also have an impact.

This would, according to the research, spread prosperity more evenly around the UK.

However, the Edinburgh research found that increases in part-time pay, encouragement to take up unclaimed benefits, and efforts to increase housing supply had less effect on inequality.

Source: Childcare ‘key to reducing inequality’ – BBC News

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