Skip to Main Content

Income and Wealth (Economics A-Level): Home

Overall discussion question:

A government wishes to make the distribution of both income and wealth more equal.

Discuss whether the most effective way to achieve these aims is to tax income more progressively.


This LibGuide supports a sequence of lessons on Income, Wealth and Poverty. During this period you will be exploring the topic through articles on:

At the end of the sequence you will write an essay on the topic: "A government wishes to make the distribution of both income and wealth more equal.  Discuss whether the most effective way to achieve these aims is to tax income more progressively", and take part in a Spiderweb discussion around this question.

You have been provided with a variety of sources from different sides of the political spectrum and may wish to locate some additional sources yourself, using the hints and tips given on these pages. As you read the sources you should use the Investigative Journal to make notes, and then use these to complete your Key Ideas sheet in preparation for the discussion. You can find electronic copies of both of these resources (and a Glossary sheet that you may also choose to use) in the Notemaking and summarising resources box on the right hand side of every page of this guide.

Your teacher will expect to see your Investigative Journal sheets at various points throughout the process, and will take in your Key Ideas sheet after the discussion.

Recommended Reading (to get you thinking)

Who owns all the pie? The size and distribution of Britain's £14.6 trillion of wealth (Resolution Foundation, 2019)

An excellent overview of wealth distribution in Great Britain, which provides a useful introduction to a discussion of the difference between wealth and income.

The Resolution Foundation is a Think Tank which has been accused of being left-leaning and, while it does have people from both ends of the political spectrum in senior positions, it is probably true that it leans more towards the left.




Inequality: is it rising and can we reverse it? (Guardian, 2019)

A wide ranging and well-sourced article looking at how inequality is measured, its consequences and how policy can affect it.

The Guardian is a left-centre source rated high for factual reporting by

A note about political bias:

You will notice that these are both from left-leaning sources. Since they are briefings/reports not opinion pieces and from very reputable sources, this is less important than it appears.

Access Global Newsbank

Access Global Newsbank (note the need for a password for access from home) contains the full text of articles from:

UK National Broadsheets including:

  • The Daily (and Sunday) Telegraph
  • The Guardian and Observer
  • The Independent and Independent on Sunday
  • The Times and Sunday Times

as well as a range of national tabloids, local papers and international titles including foreign language editions. This can be useful for finding newspaper articles which are otherwise hidden behind pay walls.

Many of these titles are available as image editions.

If you want some help with this database, have a look at the video tutorial.

Access to the Financial Times

myFT logo

The Financial Times offers free access to school students aged 16-19 (and their teachers/Librarians). Sign up for an individual account while you are logged on using a school wi-fi (or wired) connection:

  • Click here.
  • Scroll down to Check if your school is registered for free access to
  • Type Oakham in the search box
  • Click on Request your signup link in the Oakham School line, and follow the on-screen instructions

Once you have created your account, you can then use these log in details anywhere - in or out of school.

Notemaking and summarising resources

Use this journal to make notes as you read each article. One page per source.

  • First note key ideas and quotes in the left hand column
  • Then reread these and explain how they relate to the inquiry question in the right hand column.
  • Don't forget to comment on the quality of the source.

You should make notes like this on both the Recommended Reading articles for each section. (If you choose to make notes by hand rather than on screen, use a shortened URL in the source description e.g. rather than the full URL of the article).

Once you have completed your reading for each area you can start to transfer your ideas to this summary sheet, which you will use as your notes for the Spiderweb discussion. Don't forget to explain the key Economic ideas for each area in the "basic explanation" box on the left hand side of the sheet, and highlight any key vocabulary so that you can make sure you use it in the discussion.

This sheet should be printed double sided on A3.

You may wish to use this sheet to collect a list of technical terms as you progress through this topic. You might find it helpful to have this list to refer to during the discussion.

Normal term-time Library opening hours:
Mon-Fri: 08:30-21:15
Sat: 08:00-16:00
Sun: 14:00-18:00