Thursday, 15 November 2012

Iain Duncan Smith redefines poverty

Child poverty is to be measured by how long children have two birth parents looking after them, the length of worklessness in households and school achievement under controversial new plans announced today. Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, will downgrade Labour's system of measuring poverty relative to the rest of the population, which he believes can provide a skewed picture of household finances.

A new range of indicators will be introduced including family stability, worklessness and educational achievement. Duncan Smith, in a joint move with the schools minister, David Laws, claimed the new measures better reflect the reality of poverty in the UK today.  Guardian

Appearing on BBC Breakfast this morning, Duncan Smith said:

“What we’re saying to everyone out there is ‘look, we could go on playing this game saying we’re going to put more money in'. The truth is the last government spent £171bn on tax credits, they raised expenditure on welfare by over 60% during a time the economy grew, and they still failed to meet their poverty targets for children. By 2010 they quite dramatically failed.”

You can read the government’s consultation here or a summary of the consultation here. Both are pdf documents. There is also a response form (Word document) for plebs to air their opinions.