The UK social mobility commission has been prevented in its mission of increasing equality in Britain by the recent revolving cast of ministers and an inability to get permanent staff working on the job.
Katharine Birbalsingh told the Women and Equalities Committee of MPs they’re “at the beginning, there’s been lots of introductory meetings”, despite being twelve months into her role as the UK’s social mobility tsar at a time when the cost of living crisis is stretching household incomes.
“There has been some disruption in government”, she added, alluding to the recent revolving door of ministers that has prevented many civil servants from doing their jobs.
Birbalsingh was appointed by Liz Truss in 2021, when she held the joint roles of foreign secretary and women’s and equalities minister under Boris Johnson. Johnson also appointed a cost of living tsar, weeks before leaving Downing Street and being replaced by Truss, whose economic policies crashed the pound, worsening the crisis and leading to her resignation after just eight weeks. Former chancellor Rishi Sunak took over at Number 10 in October.
John Craven, director of the social mobility commission, added that the government’s own restrictions on civil service recruitment had prevented the commission employing permanent staff to work on improving social mobility for British people.
Inequality is widening in Britain as wages fail to keep pace with inflation, meaning rich families with generational wealth are better able to ride out the storm while everyone else struggles to make ends meet, according to recent research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies.