If David Cameron wants to tell us the current definition of child poverty is a bad one, he’s probably right. The problem is, his preferred changes to that definition will probably be worse.
Poverty is currently defined according to whether a household’s income is less than 60 per cent of the national average. So during a recession, when most incomes (apart from those of the very rich) drop, poverty actually appears to decrease.
Now, despite there having been no appreciable rise in incomes across the board, the Institute for Fiscal Studies is forecasting a rise in child poverty from 2.3 million to 2.5 million – that’s 200,000 more children in poverty, as it is currently measured.
For David Cameron, this is a disaster because it shows that – even with the help of the silly sliding-scale definition of poverty, his government is worsening the situation for children across the UK. What an evil man. What an evil government.
His solution, it seems, is to revive plans to change the way child poverty is defined, to ensure that all those children who have fallen on hard times since he came into office (in 2010, not this year – we, at least, can be honest about the effect he is having) may be dismissed from the poverty figures even if they don’t have food to eat or clothes to wear.
The thought of taking action to stop children falling into poverty probably hasn’t even occurred to David Cameron.
It seems he discussed the matter on Tuesday morning with Nicky Morgan, our dunce of an education secretary, Oliver Letwin, the Cabinet Office minister they keep in a back room in case he frightens children, and Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary who models his behaviour on the Nazis – any of his solutions are likely to be final.
(In fact, the £12 billion cuts being planned for the Gentleman Ranker’s welfare budget are likely to be fatal to a huge number of people in any case.)
The Guardian‘s report on this points out that “a little-noticed line in the Conservative party’s general election manifesto said the government would “work to eliminate child poverty and introduce better measures to drive real change in children’s lives, by recognising the root causes of poverty: entrenched worklessness, family breakdown, problem debt, and drug and alcohol dependency”.
So the manifesto plan is: Blame the parents.
What are they going to do, then – sanction them (take money away)?
Already popular organisations are starting to line up against the government. Alison Garnham of the Child Poverty Action Group took an early shot at Cameron’s claim to be running a ‘One Nation’ government (a slogan he stole back from Labour after the general election).
“You can’t have one nation if children’s lives, opportunities and life chances at every turn are shaped and limited by poverty,” she said. “The government’s child poverty approach is failing but the prime minister’s speech [on Monday] simply missed the point and failed to set out what his government will do to prevent his legacy being the largest rise in child poverty in a generation.
“It is no good pulling bodies out of the river, without going upstream to see who is throwing them in – especially, if turns out the culprit is government policy. The right choices that would reduce poverty include protecting children’s benefits with the same triple-lock protection pensions enjoy, fixing the deep cuts to tax credit help for the low-paid, tackling cripplingly high rents, high childcare costs and expanding free school meals.”
These things will not happen under a Conservative government. There’s no profit in it for them because children – unlike pensioners, for example – don’t vote.
So, in simple terms, this is the situation:
Child poverty is rising.
The Conservative Party intends to pretend that it isn’t happening by fudging a new definition of poverty.
The Conservative Party will do nothing to tackle the real causes.
What conclusion can we reach?
The Conservative Government welcomes increased poverty in the UK.
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Thank goodness the children’s charities are speaking out. The trick to blame everyone else except themselves is getting very thin. It’s probably Labour’s fault because they lost the election!
Disgusting and tragic that the children are always the ones to suffer. It is always more serious as it affects the brain which is still developing and the emotions causing lifelong scars. And of course fertility – just a coincidence.
The “bullingdon baffoon ” refuse’s to accept food bank are related to sanctions, is there no end to his lack of understanding on people on the receiving end.
His views on child poverty are the last thing on the idiots mind, his main role at present is to remove our human rights, that’s his real priority. Child poverty is just another talking point to make the public think he cares, more propaganda from a trained PR man.
Nothing more than a twist on words.
I firmly believe that its all part of the Nasty Tory plan to take the country back to the 18th/19th centuries.
Mike a question? How long can this lot stay in power with evil policies like these before the people of this country stand up and shout ENOUGH? And then do something about it? I know coup d’etat and violent revolution are not in the British psyche but how much more of this tosh are we going to tolerate? Only 24% of the electorate voted for them so there’s 76% who didn’t.
As an aside, I live on a Sheltered Housing Scheme and today we heard that the support part of the deal whereby we have a daily visit etc to ensure we made it through another night now lays in the hands of the Tory controlled County Council as our Housing Association is not tendering for the contract which runs out next March, we are now at the mercy of the CC who have made no bones about it they are going and have already started making swingeing cuts targeting the sick, the elderly and the disabled. I’ve attacked my Tory County Councillor both face to face at public meetings and in the local press that he no longer answers my emails, to him Democracy is shooting all opposition as he once threatened a Labour opponent in the Council Chamber for which he served a suspension. He looks upon the Thatcher era as Halcyon days and still blames Harold Wilson for all our present ills.
Socialism is dead: we all need to get used to its demise and find out what we can replace it with. People, such as the majority of a so-called Labour MP’s rabble are well aware that the ending of the cold war and joining the Common Market meant that they had no further need for working people, now they have even less need as any migrant will do any job at any price. Get used to it, the ‘working class’ are no longer required.
Cause related nonsense such as anti-smoking, Cycling, fitness, h’education (its so bad that you will learn bog all, so they encourage you to waste your borrowed cash and spend the rest of your life paying it back….and you will pay it back, because they will send Enforcers and Thugs after you if you do not.
We have seen that so-called Labour MP’s are amusingly pro business, definitively anti strike, they would not be caught dead supporting one, and pro the SinCity of London swindlers, this lot we have even supports Migrants when we cannot even afford to House, Feed, School, and Medically treat our own Children.
So, what are you expecting….a Miracle?
Oh yes! even God and, his servants/pushers, wants paying for that…and it still w’ont help you.
Generalising a bit, John. Not all Labour MPs are as you describe.
You’d be voting Corbyn (if you had the vote in that election) – yes?