Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shocking news on poverty....more news Gordon Brown wants to bury?

The figures have just been published.......100,000 more children living in poverty, a shocking 3.9 million. And the first increase in pensioner poverty since 1998, an additional 300,000 bringing the total to 2.5 million. Kate Green from the Child Poverty Action Group is calling for a further £3 billion to be spent on tax credits and benefits. What is disturbing is that these figures are from 2006/7, with the huge jump in the cost of living there is no doubt it will be even worse now.

But these figures are not just a problem for the government, they are a problem for us as we go round promising tax cuts at the same time as being committed to tackling poverty. Ultimately they will also be a huge problem for the Tories, wanting to cut taxes at the same time as presumably crying crocodile tears over these figures.

Frankly we have a choice. Ending child poverty, youth poverty, pensioner poverty will cost. If we are serious about it we need to have a serious look at either reordering our priorities, or reviewing our tax policy. What's that saying about not having your cake and eating it?


Lee Griffin said...

Definitely, ending poverty is one of the primary reasons for taxation, yet even that isn't working right now because of false priorities. I said it when the top 50 achievements came out (published by Labour) that they were being overly generous with themselves over their record on Poverty. I remember someone saying I was being harsh, but this just goes to show how little they've really done.

As I've said over on my blog recently though, the real key is not just in taxation hitting the mark, it's in government's having the guts to stand up to the private companies out there that bleed us dry. That means people on the left (and particularly anti-capitalists) need to stop fucking about complaining about supermarkets that are actually in general doing a good job of providing a service for good value, and start focusing on the energy industry and scrutinising council taxes more.

Linda Jack said...

Absolutely agree with you Lee. I frankly don't have a problem with a truly competitive private sector, what I object to is the privatisation of public services, particularly where it means creating a false market with no actual choice at the point of delivery.