Tag Archives: poverty

Inequality “narrows” due to Liberal Democrat policies

imageAn interesting report (£)  in the Sunday Times yesterday tells how official figures show that the gap between the richest and poorest is narrowing.

While most people have suffered a squeeze on incomes since Britain was plunged into recession six years ago — and only now is the economy getting back to pre-crisis levels — those on lower incomes have done relatively better than those at the top. Households Below Average Income, an official report published last week, showed income inequality, measured after taking into account housing costs, had fallen to

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Opinion: Time to renounce the Tories’ War on the Poor

William BeveridgeLib Dems don’t need a change of leader. What we need now is a radical change of policies and direction. This starts with a total repudiation of the War on the Poor, waged by Tories through austerity and so-called “welfare reform”. Waged, it must be said, by stealth.

But waged in a manner that should have been more obvious to Lib Dems in Parliament and in government. The cause of this myopia can be debated. What is clear is what occurred while we were looking the other way.

First they came for tenants on benefits living in central London. It destroyed the lives of people who rented homes in boroughs where covetous Conservatives thought they should live

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Opinion: Are payday loans impoverishing our neighbourhoods?

There is a central moral conundrum at the heart of the payday loan phenomenon.

It is that payday loan companies are designed to help people through what are intended to be unusual and temporary periods of financial difficulty.  Long-term and repeated use of payday loans is seriously expensive.

Yet – and here’s the rub – the business plans of most payday loan companies envisage growth.  Their business purpose, and the purpose of their investors, is to maximise their profits – and this is bound to be at the expense of some of the poorest families and the most vulnerable places.

My report for …

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Poverty at its lowest since 2004/5?

A report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (pdf) shows that 13 million people in the UK were in poverty in 2011/12, a poverty rate of 21% which, while still too high, is the lowest it has been since 2004/5.

There is a mixed picture behind this: improvements for pensioners and children, and declines for adults in work, the latter being the angle picked up by the BBC.

The data predates some of the more recent benefit changes, which are not likely to help, although even a 1% uprating of benefits will be faster than many people’s wages, which …

Posted in Op-eds | 33 Comments

Lib Dem attitudes to poverty and welfare: 3 interesting findings from today’s Joseph Rowntree Foundation report

Three interesting findings from today’s report for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) — Public attitudes to poverty and welfare 1983-2011 — carried out by NatCen Social Research, exploring public attitudes to poverty and welfare over the past three decades.

1) Interestingly… Lib Dem supporters are less likely than Labour supporters to believe that people live in need because of laziness or a lack of willpower.

nat cen jrf laziness

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South Bronx is just as important as Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall

South Bronx - Some rights reserved by Nathan CongletonIt is lovely to watch a US President taking the oath of office and not be scared. The feeling of dread I experienced in 1981 and 2001 when Reagan and the younger Bush took office was not pleasant. While Barack Obama has not been perfect, his heart is generally in the right place. His achievements in his first term are all the more remarkable when you consider that he faced a Congress full of some of the most right wing, conservative Republicans we’ve seen in our lifetimes whose sole aim was to thwart his every move.

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Frank Field echoes Nick Clegg’s approach to tackling poverty

Labour MP Frank Field’s Independent Review on Poverty and Life Chances, commissioned by the government and published last week has added to the debate over whether efforts should focus on increasing social mobility:

He proposes that the government switches focus from Labour’s anti-poverty measure, based on material income, to a set of life chance indicators.

He writes: “Poverty is a much more subtle enemy than purely lack of money,” adding that he does not believe poverty is the dominant reason why disadvantage is handed down from one generation to another.

Parenting is more important than income or schooling to a child’s life

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Nick Clegg on tackling poverty around the world

Nick Clegg has done an interview and video clip for ONE Vote 2010, a campaign group “committed to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa”.

Here’s a sample:

What would you do to secure a global climate deal that helps people living in poverty? Would you ensure that climate funding is additional to current and promised aid flows?

The Liberal Democrats have long been at the forefront of the environmental agenda and have a record of campaigning for ambitious action on the environment and climate change. At the heart of our thinking on climate change is the belief that

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The Saturday Debate: Equality of opportunity just isn’t enough

Here’s your starter for ten as we experiment with a new Saturday slot posing a view for debate:

Belief in equality is, as the preamble to the Lib Dems’ constitutions states, one of the fundamental values of the party. But, as with all values, equality can mean different things to different people.

There has long been tension between liberals who believe the role of government is to aim for equality of opportunity for everyone, and liberals who believe government must promote equality of outcomes. The former will tend to stress the importance of education as the chief means by which individuals …

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Daily View 2×2: 28 January 2010

Smoke trails against a black skyGood morning, and welcome to Daily View this morning. 24 years ago, 28 January saw the NASA Challenger disaster.

It’s the date of the death of Henry VIII and the beginning of the Diet of Worms. (If they went to that sort of effort, I hope they lost a lot of weight!)

197 years ago today saw the first publication of Pride and Prejudice and in 1958, Lego bricks were first patented. Today’s bricks still mesh with the original 1958 system.

Birthday bunny hops today go to novelist David Lodge and hobbit-actor Elijah Wood.

2 Big Stories

Boris Johnson to stand down as chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority

Over to the Guardian for today’s first story.

In direct contradiction to his manifesto, Boris Johnson has decided he doesn’t have time to be a writer, a mayor, and a Police Authority chair, and so something had to give.

Tory Troll has a bunch of handy quotes and links on the story.

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Campbell: “determined to take fight for a fairer Britain into the mainstream of British politics”

Menzies CampbellMenzies Campbell has today delivered a speech to the IPPR entitled “Poverty and opportunity: the Liberal way”.

We reproduce the speech in full below – it’s fairly long and weighty as you’d expect, but worth reading in full rather than skipping to the conclusion, as we’ve done in the blog post title ;)

Some coverage of this speech already here.

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Heads up: Campbell to make keynote poverty speech at 11am

Menzies Campbell will address the IPPR today outlining Liberal Democrat policy proposals on tackling poverty.

More here.

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    "I'm a volunteer, so I'm allowed to write a prejudiced rant, on a site that claims to be LibDem"? Not an excuse, in my opinion.
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