Iain Duncan Smith’s latest foolishness: He no longer uses poverty to measure poverty

Brierfield in Lancashire where nearly 35% of children live in poverty and just over 50% are classed as poor according to reach by the End Child Poverty Campaign.

Brierfield in Lancashire, where nearly 35 per cent of children live in poverty and just over half are classed as poor according to research by the End Child Poverty Campaign.

We all knew this was coming because we have a Conservative Government whose policies have been intended to increase poverty since 2010 – while apparently working to eliminate child poverty by 2020.

It simply couldn’t be done, and now the Gentleman Ranker, Iain Duncan Smith, has admitted it.

This is not a failure by the Conservative Government – it is a mark of its success in increasing poverty while fooling people into believing that they are better-off being ruled by a gang of greedy, selfish, chinless toffs.

RTU’s (Returned To Unit – an Army term denoting uselessness that we use to describe IDS) move to abolish the elimination target and change the way poverty is defined – away from the internationally-recognised measure which considers anybody earning less than 60 per cent of median pay to be in poverty – has been attacked by, of all people, Alan Milburn.

This as-good-as-Tory quisling in the Labour Party pointed out that it was “not credible to try and improve the life chances of the poor without acknowledging the most obvious symptom of poverty – lack of money.

“Abolishing the legal targets doesn’t make the issue of child poverty go away… The key issue is less how child poverty is measured and more how it is tackled.”

Duncan Smith won’t care. He’s dreaming of poorhouses.

And he gets his script from the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

According to fellow blog Zelo Street, the TPAs former chief spinner Susie Squire went through the revolving door to become a special advisor for SNLR (Services No Longer Required – we have many alternative acronyms for IDS). “Then, by complete coincidence you understand, he had his brilliant idea of doing away with the 60% target.”

Zelo Street continues: “And so Duncan Cough told the world about his new targets: “Worklessness measures will identify the proportion of children living in workless households and the proportion of children in long-term workless households … The educational attainment measures will focus on GCSE attainment for all pupils and for particularly disadvantaged pupils”. This is total horses**t. Unemployed single parents mean poverty [according to Duncan Smith]. Equally less well off working couples with children mean otherwise.

“And then there is the education criterion. By the time GCSE attainment is calculated, the system will have long ago failed those being studied.”

Tory followers will be putting all the weight of their fat mouths behind this, so expect some seriously dull-witted inanities from the usual suspects over the next few days. Zelo Street singled out Chinless Tim Montgomerie, who tweeted: “Big moment from IDS. Rejecting Left’s materialistic idea of poverty for broader understanding of basis of a good life” and then pointed out: “It’s got sweet Fanny Adams to do with the Left, materialism, understanding, or ideas.”

It does have a lot to do with hate.

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  1. penniewoodfall July 2, 2015 at 4:47 pm - Reply

    Well said!

  2. Jim Round July 2, 2015 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Does anyone have a REAL and accurate definition of what poverty in the UK actually is? (not monetary based)

    • foggy July 2, 2015 at 8:01 pm - Reply

      Jim, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation publishes many poverty related reports (independent/non Gov), if you go to their site you can search for specific information but here’s one that may give you an explanation;


      I’m sure IDS and his henchmen will be currently working on how to ‘re-define death’ !

      • Jim Round July 3, 2015 at 12:52 am - Reply

        It mostly comes down to having not enough money then, but for what, and why?
        Why do some single parents manage on what they get and others do not?
        There is very little help with budgeting, basic skills, cooking and keeping healthy.
        There is also very little being done about neglect.
        Think of it this way, if you see an animal being neglected you can report it to the RSPCA who will in most cases come to investigate.
        The charity that allegedly deals with child neglect an abuse, the NSPCC, does little, if anything, it is left to the thinly stretched police and social workers.
        Until (and I repeat again, and from personal experience) this neglect is tackled at it’s root, things will only get worse.

      • Florence July 3, 2015 at 1:08 pm - Reply

        so true – as IDS has his minions beavering away to hide real people dying in averaged normalised amortised death rates.

        Millions are just an few pounds & pennies away from disaster, seeing their fate coming closer with every BBC announcement of the “emergency” budget and the “welfare reforms” that we all apparently HAVE to make. The only imperative now is that we must resist this govt with all our might, energy and ingenuity. We must see they are predators, and we are the herd (a term already used for the unemployed and disabled by Freud & co, while justifying their predatory destruction of lives) as long as we allow them to treat us so.

        Like Osborne at the Paralympics, we must find ways to make their faces burn with the realisation that they are hated, opposed and will not be tolerated. And then make them go.

  3. Ian July 2, 2015 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Why isn’t IBS seen as a joke, a sociopathic clown, by the entire country? Is there actually something wrong with Conservative supporters, or at least the ones who back this cretinous psycho?

    I’d say IDS was a joke but the death, destitution and misery he has wrought aren’t funny.

  4. Steve Grant July 2, 2015 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    The man is a maggot and he fattening himself on the misery of the poor…..

  5. mrmarcpc July 2, 2015 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    The Last Leg on Channel 4 mentioned about this, they’ve not going to hit their target/s so they’re, once again, moving the goalposts to suit them, playing fast and loose once more with the people’s lives, they are just despicable!

  6. crazytrucker1951 July 2, 2015 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Hate does seem to be the main emotion driving the Tory Steamroller at the moment as Tory thinking and their ill conceived and ill thought out policies do seem to me to reflect that emotion for what else could they be except pure hatred for those of us dabbling with poverty?

  7. casalealex July 2, 2015 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    Iain Duncan Smith said, “…it is ‘ridiculous’ to claim ‘compassionate Conservatism’ was dead….”

    How can it be dead, when it has never existed?

  8. hayfords July 2, 2015 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    The new definition of poverty is not something dreamt up by IDS. He is head of the department that will implement it. It was discussed during the previous coalition. The current measure of 60% of average earnings is not fit for purpose. It is affected by lots of factors independent of poverty. For instance, if pensions go up this raises the average earnings. This then pushes a new set of people below the 60% boundary and creates more ‘poor’. This is clearly nonsense. The opposite is even more bizzare. If wages fall as in a recession then people will cross the 60% boundary the other way. This means that in a recession the number of poor falls. That is counter intuitive and obviously wrong.

    • Mike Sivier July 2, 2015 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      You’re right that the new definition of poverty is not something dreamt up by the Gentleman Ranker.
      It was dreamt up by the Taxpayers’ Alliance pressure group.
      You’d have known that if you had read the article.
      Nice to know who our politicians really work for, isn’t it?

      There is truth in the claim that the current definition doesn’t work. However, even you must admit that lack of money is a major cause of poverty and should be at least a contributing part of any definition.

  9. Mili July 3, 2015 at 5:38 am - Reply

    Tweeted @melissacade68

  10. NMac July 3, 2015 at 7:22 am - Reply

    In the ideal Tory world they would like to be able to blot out publicity relating to the poor, the sick and the disabled. They don’t want to know about them and they would rather the rest of us didn’t. We are heading for another Dickensian Britain.

  11. Tony Dean July 4, 2015 at 6:47 am - Reply

    I actually agree with Iain Duncan Smith that using 60% of median household income as a poverty line measure is no longer valid.
    I do have different reasons for thinking that though. Currently the figure resulting from that formula is far too low.

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