Labour peers aim to retain income-related child poverty targets

Shadow employment minister Nick Thomas-Symonds has said removing income from poverty targets would be seen as ‘a grim joke’.

The Conservative Government’s attempt to hide the growth of child poverty under its rule has to be one of the most sinister elements of its policy platform.

Poverty is entirely caused by lack of money – look it up in a dictionary and it will be defined as “the state of being extremely poor”, or words to that effect.

The Tories want to remove money from the way the UK measures poverty, changing to a series of “indicators” covering what the party risibly calls “life chances”.

It is an insult to the intelligence of anybody who understands the gravity of the current appalling situation.

At the moment, poverty is measured according to an internationally-agreed standard that is itself inadequate; a family is said to be in poverty if it earns 60 per cent, or less, of the average UK income – but incomes have been falling.

This means that, according to the current standard, familes that were in poverty when David Cameron came to office in 2010 are not anymore – despite the fact that they still don’t have enough money to cope.

But the number of families meeting the criteria is still on the rise: According to an article in The Independent quoting the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, out of 26,400,000 UK households there were “6.7 million families with adults in employment who meet the worrying criteria of living in poverty compared with a combined 6.3 million of retired and unemployed families living in poverty.”

That means there’s a lot of poverty for the Conservatives to hide.

The definition of poverty does need reform, in order to reveal the true extent of the problem – but this is not the way to do it.

Labour peers are to be applauded for their attempt to return honesty to this aspect of politics.

Note also that this is something that is really being done by the Labour Party, at this time, to stop Conservative injustice and corruption of the facts.

As such, of course, it has taken a position in the headlines behind the idle speculation about Jeremy Corbyn’s opinion on the future of the Falkland Islands.

What a shame our right-wing mass media cannot get their priorities right.

Labour peers will try to amend the welfare reform bill on Monday to stop the government abolishing income-related child poverty targets.

They will back an amendment tabled with cross-party support that would effectively neuter one of the key aims of the bill by forcing the government to present an annual report to parliament ithat includes conventional figures for child poverty.

Child poverty has until now been measured with reference to average household income, but the government believes the focus on income diverts attention away from the causes of poverty. In its current form the bill would abolish the income-related targets in Labour’s 2010 Child Poverty Act.

The legislation will be renamed the Life Chances Act, and its targets will cover indicators such as the proportion of children living in workless households.

Source: Labour peers aim to retain income-related child poverty targets | Politics | The Guardian

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4 thoughts on “Labour peers aim to retain income-related child poverty targets

  1. daijohn

    If someone is poor then the answer to the problem is to give them more money; preferable through higher wages but if not through increased welfare. Simple! the Tories should stop trying to wriggle off the hook.

  2. mohandeer

    If someone cannot afford the basic necessities they are poor. Those basics don’t fall to earth like manna from heaven so how does someone get out of poverty, especiall if over 6 million of them are already employed?

  3. amnesiaclinic

    This is so serious that they are even thinking of wriggling off the hook which is why so many people are taken in by the rhetoric. Most people are decent and believe the government are doing their best for everyone which is where the sinister ‘giving every child a chance’ and ‘fulfilling their potential’ at that first cabinet meeting.
    Most people really cannot comprehend how this government have twisted and skewed everything.
    With blogs like this people are beginning to wake up.

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