David Cameron gave his keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester last week and there was a definite change in the political wind with an attempt to move towards the centre ground. He said that central to tackling big social problems is an all-out assault on poverty. Perhaps, Cameron could see the Conservatives being seen as the ‘nasty’ party again, some have said that this is the true man.
Amongst others things he mentioned that if the Conservatives understood the problem there was a need to tackle the root causes of poverty and that the best route out of poverty is work – “It’s simple, get the adults a job”. “So let the message go out: if you work hard, want to get on, want more money at the end of the month…the party for you is right here in this hall”.
Yvette Cooper made poverty central to her leadership campaign.
The truth about poverty in Britain is much more wide ranging and deeply ingrained and David Cameron, no matter what his motivations has little or no chance of making meaningful reductions whilst the status quo remains in place.
The UK economy has just about doubled in size since the early 1980s – yet the number of those suffering below-minimum living standards has increased by more than double, a study claims. In addition, the study determines the number of British households falling below minimum living standards has more than doubled in that same period of about 30 years. It’s the same in the US.
According to a study by Poverty and Social Exclusion (PSE), 33% of all UK households endure below-par living standards – defined as going without three or more “basic necessities of life”, such as being able to adequately feed and clothe themselves and their children, and to heat and insure their homes. In the early 1980s, the comparable figure was 14%. A 140% increase.
Almost 30% of working women are earning less than the living wage. The figures also showed nearly 50% of young people are on low wages in London, with the figure rising to 58% outside the capital. In all, this accounts for 6 million hard working people, the number jumping 19% in just four years.