Tuesday 6 July 2010

Labour & Poverty

Here's a little gem from @BevaniteEllie aka Labour's Ellie Gellard:

Oh dear oh dear. Aside from the fact that Ms Gellard appears clueless as what the primary functions of a country's constitution should be, she seems blissfully unaware that the UK already has a written constitution; it's just famously not codified. There's a difference.

Parliament can, and do, rewrite parts of it by passing bills. So instead of turning the whole country's legal system upside down, which she is clearly implying (for what admittedly is not an ignoble cause) all Parliament needs to do is pass a Child Poverty bill.

And wait...

They already have, under the last Parliament:
Yvette Cooper is to publish plans to place a legal duty on all future UK governments – including any future Tory administration – to abolish child poverty by 2020.

The proposed bill, to be discussed in cabinet tomorrow, will establish four separate targets in primary legislation, Cooper, the new work and pensions secretary, said. "I am absolutely clear that this is about reducing inequality, and being bold about what a future Labour government's vision represents. It is not simply about reducing poverty. It will embed a desire to reduce inequality in our society in legislation."

Passed in 2010, one wonders why it took Labour so long? Well simple, because after 13 years in power, with the Labour putting into practice of using the state to 'get rid' of child poverty, this was the net result:

The full scale of Labour's failure to help the poorest in Britain was laid bare yesterday with revelations that hundreds of thousands of people were being plunged into deprivation even before the recession hit, and that the Government had been unable to make any impression on the numbers of children and pensioners in poverty.

And what did Labour think was more important than the cause that Ms Gellard thinks we should change the constitution for (my emphasis)?

Ministers were forced to admit that they had all but abandoned Labour's historic promise to halve child poverty by next year, telling The Independent that the state of the economy meant that saving jobs had to be the priority.

Still, it's nice to know that her privileged education wasn't wasted.


  1. Why was this problem not revealed beforehand? How come that Labour forgot to help the poorest in Britain? Where did our taxes go? What did the Government do? It seems that in this area alone has been so incompetent. The present government should no longer be deaf and blind to this situation. They should act now.

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  4. It depends if you want to see the glass half full or half empty.

    The net result of the labour years was a reduction of at least 500,000 children in realtive poverty and maybe as many as a million by the time we get the figures for the year 2010/11. This is not enough to meet the target they set for 2010/11, but nevertheless a very significant achievement given that relative poverty rose throughout the Consertaive years and has been rising in most other industrial countries in the last decade.

    All this can be seen in the data from the Office for National Statistics which collates the annual Housholds Below Average Incomes research series.

    The Conservatives will perform worse for poor children if they have their way and redefine poverty to make the targets in the Child Poverty Act much less ambitious.