The State of Pay 2008: The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings

A brief glance at the report will confirm the disparity between male and female wages - about £100 per week on average. A more detailed look will also reveal that the wage gap between people in their 20's and people in their 40's is almost double this, while the gap between 16/17 year olds and their 40-year old counterparts is more than £400 per week (a situation unlikely to be remedied by the recently-announced Future Jobs Fund)

The 2002 version of this report also has additional data that shows only 10% of the population earns £37,692+ per year (gross). The national average wage is £24,603, but nearly 70% of people earn less than this.

Look at that again. The pay gap between different age groups is greater than the gap between the genders. The 1970 Equal Pay Act has been used to make damaging changes to local government in 2007-2009, in the name of equalising male/female pay. Had central government made extra funds available to cover the wage increases, maybe the results would not have been so damaging. Perhaps one day, the 2006 Age Discrimination Act will cause more carnage.

And that's before we consider discrimination based on disability, race, religion or sexual orientation, all of which have Acts on the subject.