The main point of David Cameron’s speech has been shown to be a lie, just one day after he made it. Can there be any doubt that he and his colleagues have been lying about most of the other things they said as well?
David Cameron’s promise during his address to the Conservative party conference that “an all-out assault on poverty” would be at the centre of his second term is undermined by a report that reveals planned welfare cuts will lead to an increase of 200,000 working households living in poverty by 2020.
The findings, published on Thursday by the Resolution Foundation, appear to contradict the prime minister’s vow to devote the second five years of his premiership to creating a “Greater Britain” marked by social reform, real equality and less racial discrimination.
In a speech that was clearly designed to respond to Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader, Cameron sought to position his party as the dominant force on the centre ground of politics. The prime minister argued the best way to tackle the deep roots of poverty lay in getting people into better paid work.
But the new research by the Resolution Foundation – now chaired by former Conservative minister David Willetts – suggests the government’s welfare cuts introduced in the budget in a bid to cut the deficit will drive at least 200,000 working households into poverty under a definition that the government is abolishing.
In its key findings the report also estimated that:
• A further 200,000 children (predominantly from working households) will fall into poverty in 2016 simply as a result of the tax and benefit measures announced at the summer budget, including the increases in the national minimum wage.
• The total number of working households in poverty will have reached 2 million in 2020.
• The summer budget measures will lead to income falls of more than 4% in the bottom fifth of earners, contrasting with income rises of 4% for the top third.
• The number of children in poverty in working and non-working households is estimated to reach up to 3.9 million by 2020. This is 1.2 million higher than the 2016-17 baseline and 600,000 higher than was projected for 2020 prior to the budget.
The Treasury did respond to the points raised by the Resolution Foundation – but chose to do so with more lies (particularly about George Osborne’s new version of the minimum wage), so the comment is not worth publishing here.
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