We propose a definition of fairness in terms of five ‘fair necessities’ that could form the basis of an organising philosophy that most people in Britain would support. This in turn could underpin a platform for root-and-branch reform of the way that our society and economy is organised, which could draw support from a wide range of political traditions and parties.
Our proposed five ‘fair necessities’ are as follows:
* Exceptional rewards are only fair if they correspond to a universally accepted exceptional performance or contribution.
** This requires radical steps to remove structural barriers that face people born into disadvantaged circumstances, effectively by designing out bad luck.
*** Some people (or regions) need to be treated differently (equity) to have the same opportunities as everyone else. This is the idea behind levelling up.