The middle classes of "Middle England" fear poverty more than the working classes, according to research at the University of Luton. "Very few people seem to know how poor or how rich they actually are relative to others," said Hartley Dean, reader in social policy.
"Lots of people on pretty good incomes still have a horror of poverty. And while lots of people also think it would be fun to be rich, they're actually more concerned with security than wealth." Poverty, Wealth and Citizenship is based on interviews with 76 people, ranging from part-time workers on family credit to one of the 200 richest people in the country. It also found that national newspapers foster a general climate of "insecurity and fatalism".