Inequality is growing at its fastest rate ever. The rich are getting richer and faster than ever before. On the flip side the numbers of poor in this country is growing just as fast.
The government's decision to change how child poverty is measured, to focus on the root causes of poverty rather than income disparities, has angered opposition parties and anti-poverty campaigners. Thankfully the government’s plans have been defeated.
The defeat was spearheaded by the Bishop of Durham, Rt Rev Paul Butler, who argued income-related statistics must be recorded so they could be assessed with other measurements of deprivation.
Ministers will be obliged to present a report to Parliament each year setting out the percentage of children in households whose net income is 60% to 70% below the median average.
But ministers insist that income benchmarks put in place by the last Labour government painted a false picture and meant that inter-generational factors holding families back, such as unemployment and low educational attainment, were ignored.
It is unacceptable that in the 21st century and in one of the richest countries in the world we still have child poverty. There are no easy answers to this issue but we think that paying a living wage would be a start.
There is also a wealth of academic evidence pointing to the damaging effect income poverty has on children's wellbeing, including their health, education and future employment prospects.
Child poverty must be highlighted as it affects us all and all our futures. There is something very wrong when the government says that the economy is doing well, but food bank use is still on the rise. With the largest sector in the jobs markets being in retail and serv
ice industries, these types of jobs are notoriously low paid. Rents, energy, transport costs all continue to rise faster than wages, we see this problem getting worse rather than better.
The government is trying to hide and manipulate the child poverty figures, as to obviously make things look better than they are no surprise there. With the unrelenting spread of atomisation in this digital revolution, retail and service jobs will gradually be done by computers and systems. What will the average worker be doing in 5 years time? Some people say “it’s the foreigners driving down wages” well how are those people going to compete with a machine?
If you read this article or any of the other posts on the people4people website, we always say, don’t stay silent, please,