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TOPIC: Once we cared about the poor. Now we damn them

Once we cared about the poor. Now we damn them 05 Dec 2017 14:31 #5227

  • Paul-UB40
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In his landmark report 75 years ago, Sir William Beveridge used head and heart to address Britain’s inequalities. No wonder Tories undermine him

Polly Toynbee Tuesday 5 December 2017

Hardly a week passes without a new report into Britain’s yawning social divide. And yawning is the response from the government and many voters who choose not to believe it, blame the poor themselves, or just don’t care that much.

Yesterday the Joseph Rowntree Foundaton reported an extra 400,000 children and 300,000 more pensioners falling into poverty since 2013, the day after the Social Mobility Commission resigned en masse, in protest at the government binning its every recommendation. This follows the Institute for Fiscal Studies warning that 37% of children will fall below the government’s own poverty line by 2021.

Universities pump out facts about poverty, but what’s the use if the politics and public sentiment of our times sees a nation blocking its ears? Benefits Street (from the misnamed Love Productions) generated more hate than any statistics about the hard-working poor can ever repair. That’s just part of a 40-year post-Thatcher assault on the founding principles of the welfare state.

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