Now it’s clear: hard work doesn’t make you rich. Surely that’s the death knell for the myth of social mobility

Where you are born in the UK and the wealth of your family are the key factors that determine life outcomes, new figures reveal. Every parent wants their child to reach their full potential and flourish: my mum called me Faiza because it means “winner” in Arabic in the hope that success would be inevitable. It’s an emotion that runs deep, and one that politicians across the spectrum are keen to tap into, for ever promising to build an “aspirational” or truly “meritocratic” society where any individual can make it as long as they work hard enough. Equality of opportunity is a phrase commonly used by our politicians, even for those too scared to talk about equality more generally. Yet for decades we’ve been moving in the wrong direction. A recent report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that where you are born in the UK, and the income and wealth of your family, now matter more than ever in defining life outcomes, with social mobility at its worst in more than 50 years. Read more.

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