Wednesday

Duncan Smith sounds eager to get going

He is quoted in a recent press release on poverty:

“These statistics reveal the scale of poverty in the UK today. Millions of children, adults and pensioners are daily experiencing the crushing disadvantage that poverty brings. They are living at the margins of society, unable to achieve their aspirations and trapped in dependency. Such levels of poverty are unacceptable and today’s statistics show that, despite huge expenditure, this has made little impact in helping the poorest.
“Vast sums of money have been poured into the benefits system over the last decade in an attempt to address poverty, but today’s statistics clearly show that this approach has failed. Little progress has been made in tackling child poverty, society is more unequal than 50 years ago and there are more working age people living in poverty than ever before. A new approach is needed which addresses the drivers behind poverty and actually improves the outcomes of the millions of adults and children trapped in poverty.
“It is right that we invest in addressing poverty, but we must focus our resources where they will be most effective. Work, for the vast majority of people, is the best route out of poverty.
“Yet the current welfare system is trapping in dependency the very people it is designed to help. The rise in working age poverty and continued inequality show that we must make work pay and the first choice for millions of people. It is not right that someone can actually be worse off by taking work, we should be rewarding such positive behaviour by making work pay.
“Likewise, we must demand a return on our investment in work programmes. It is crucial that we fully support people making the transition into work, but tax payers’ money should be spent on initiatives that work and make a difference to people’s lives.
“The time for piecemeal reform has ended. There has never been a more pressing need for fundamental radical reform and we will waste no time in acting.”

  1. Why has the proportion of relatively poor increased?
  2. ” [in] Manchester Central… an astonishing 49.2 per cent of children have parents claiming handouts”
  3. How many are really not working?
  4. Reform of incapacity benefit – again
  5. If poverty is increasing, how come ownership of consumer durables is also increasing?
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