Tuesday, 22 March 2011

And Your Definition Of ‘Poverty’, Paddy?

Paddy Ashdown in CiF:
Taking significant steps towards ending child poverty has proved challenging for all governments but never has there been a more pressing time for our politicians to put it right for our poorest children than in the budget this week.
Let’s do it for the chiiiiilllllreeeen, eh?
Economic growth is sluggish though, and where jobs are available, many are insecure and low paid. It is simply wrong that so many – about 3.5 million – children live in poverty in the UK today.
It’s simply wrong that ‘poverty’ has come to mean what it currently means.
Unicef's latest "report card" on child wellbeing shows that income poverty matters. It found that household income is the most important factor in determining levels of child poverty and inequality in the UK, and, indeed, that the size of the inequality gap in the UK is far from inevitable.
Then perhaps we need to see more prospective parents considering that before dropping sprogs left, right and centre?
One way of supporting disadvantaged families would be for the government to promote the living wage across the public and private sector. This would help parents to pay for basic necessities, like housing, food and transport, which many are struggling to provide for their children at the moment.
So we had the ‘Minimum Wage’ and that wasn’t enough. Now, you want to raise it and call it something else?
Another way to tackle child poverty would be to impose a small tax on the financial sector (the so-called Robin Hood tax), which could raise up to £10bn for the UK's poorest children.
Robbing Peter to pay Paul only works if Peter can’t up sticks and move out of the country. And wealth isn’t a zero sum game.
Remember, we are talking about children – those least responsible for the financial crisis.
I’m not responsible for the financial crisis either.

So why should my income tax go to pay for the feckless?

9 comments:

Blue Eyes said...

One way of supporting "disadvantaged"* families would be to take away the financial incentives of reproduction.

* I hate this word because it implies that a third party is doing the disadvantaging when usually a lack of financial success is more to do with inaction than oppression.

Lynne said...

The politics of victimhood and social guilt. Ain'tcha sick of it?

Sue said...

I think the whole concept of poverty has changed radically. Poverty, when I was a child was wearing hand-me-downs and no TV's, let alone plasma TV's, Sky and Computers.

I haven't actually met anyone who is in real poverty for a very long time and I have known people who have spent years on benefits for one reason or another.

Blue Eyes is correct, benefits should only be paid for the first couple of kids to discourage mega families. And why not issue food stamps like they do in America to discourage errant parents from spending their benefit money on things that they shouldn't be able to afford!

Protecting social housing for those on minimum wage would also help. There are many middle income families still living in council houses. Do the government check that that to see if mature tenants are still in the social housing they occupied when their kids were at home? I doubt it.

It's all so very badly run.

Anonymous said...

The trouble is the feckless are just that.
Giving them money just encourages them to breed more feckless people.
I hope my comment upsets a lot of lefty liberal retards but it is true.

Anonymous said...

Are people really struggling to buy food?
So much that the people are malnourished?
Please give me evidence Paddy.

Regent Road Primary said...

@Sue: When I was a kid in Salford in the 50s I remember going to to play with one lad whose family was genuinely short of money. They had newspapers at the windows instead of curtains, bare floors and a couple of hard backed chairs in the 'living' room. That was all by way of furniture. They might have had a radio but certainly no TV.

I imagine that was quite poor.

As for the idea there has never been a more pressing time for child poverty, wasn't there a time when kids went up chimneys? Oh no, wait, that was work...

Captain Haddock said...

Paddy "Splashdown" is a complete prat .. and always was ..

The Peerage just made him a more rich & pompous prat ..

JuliaM said...

"I hate this word because it implies that a third party is doing the disadvantaging..."

Indeed! It's the 'it's always someone else's fault!' mentality.

"The politics of victimhood and social guilt. Ain'tcha sick of it?"

Yes. Very much so.

"Blue Eyes is correct, benefits should only be paid for the first couple of kids to discourage mega families. And why not issue food stamps like they do in America..."

Agreed. But the food stamps idea has always been problematic. It takes a lot of control (meaning a lot of civil service posts) and there's too many ways to subvert it.

"When I was a kid in Salford in the 50s I remember going to to play with one lad whose family was genuinely short of money. They had newspapers at the windows instead of curtains, bare floors and a couple of hard backed chairs in the 'living' room. "

That's true poverty. Not only having an inferior brand of trainers.

Greencoat said...

Aaargh! Paddy Pantsdown!

Why is that constipated git still haunting us?