We can’t go on pretending that poverty is solved by getting a job

This is very revealing.

An oldie-but-goodie from the LSE archives.

Getting a job is not necessarily a route out of poverty.

Rising costs and falling real wages means that having a job won’t necessarily allow you to make ends meet. What’s worse, the austerity programme is hitting low-income households disproportionately hardest.

One of the most marked impacts of the economic downturn across most northern economies has been a growth in inequality. This is certainly true across the UK, where deficit reduction has been overwhelmingly managed by cuts in spending rather than tax rises – and the main tool of increased tax is a regressive one, VAT. So the economic downturn has hit those without work, and those working on low incomes hardest, and the government’s reaction to deficit management has reinforced that trend.

This is patently unjust: without over-emphasising the old (but still true) mantra that those who created the crisis are not paying for it, there is now wave after wave of problems hitting people on lower incomes, with the troubles faced by those in low-paid work becoming increasingly serious.

This is not healthy for them, or for the millions of children growing up in hard-working but highly stressed and struggling households. And it is definitely not healthy for our wider economic position, as millions of pounds of consumer spending are squeezed out of the economy, and as the gaps in society widen, throwing social cohesion out of the window.

We can, of course, change this.

Source: We can’t go on pretending that poverty is solved by getting a job | British Politics and Policy at LSE

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3 thoughts on “We can’t go on pretending that poverty is solved by getting a job

  1. Dez

    Yes very relevant and last night two progs reinforced this situation ie private renters moving away from the risk of tenants who are no longer fully supported with their rent
    and moving them or forcing them out of the lucrative metropolitan areas. The care workers industry is no longer lucrative for private business owners who are throwing back their contracts. This used to be a reasonably well supported occupation for employment however with constant pressure from Councils to keep the caring costs low as they have no budgets it is no longer profitable. Wages should be at least equal to those in hospitals with same benefits to be totally fair to these folk. I can see there is now building the ludicrous case where reverse decisions will be made to actually take this external care service back into the community as it will be more economic and reliable service to relieve bed blocking, staff recruitment and better terms and conditions for these key people who will be needed more and more as the elderly population keeps increasing. Privatisation at poverty level will never work despite the Cons tossing the peasants a very late bail out fund.

    1. Florence

      As long as taking care back into the community does not become the equivalent of food banks for the other victims of this govt. Care must not be allowed to become a charity/ volunteer based postcode lottery.

  2. Barry Davies

    VAT is of course an eu taxation, however it has set the rate, and the nations can impose their own which on average is 5% above the minimum, the UK is not by any means the highest percentage abuser of this externally imposed tax. It has always been a stupid tax which initially was responsible for a massive inflationary hike and hasn’t helped since.

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