“If we look at the statistics, we see that economic inequality is down in this country. Income inequality is down and poverty is down.”

Boris Johnson, Prime Ministers Question’s

January 5, 2022

Facts

A report from the House of Commons library from October 2021 said: “Overall, levels of relative poverty have been fairly steady over the past few years, but this varies between population groups: the proportion of children and pensioners in relative poverty is higher than it was five years ago.”

The Office for National Statistics, in a report published later in January, said income inequality had “steadily increased to 36.3%.”

The organisation said this was “the highest reported measure of income inequality over the 10-year period” up to the end of the 2020 financial year.

Verdict

It is unclear what evidence Johnson is relying on to support this claim, but it is contradicted by reputable sources. It is one of a number of false claims made by Boris Johnson during PMQs on January 5th. This false claim remains on the Hansard record in defiance of the Ministerial Code.

We approached Mr Johnson’s office, the Cabinet Office and the No 10 Press Office to give them a chance to comment, but no reply.

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