Sunday, 7 June 2009

Poverty and expenses - Labour's record

The real state of Britain today rarely makes headlines. The Guardian has just run a story about the increasing poverty gap in this country showing that the poverty gap is greater now than at any point since records began in the 1960's. Most concerning is child poverty...

From the Guardian: "About 15% of pupils in state schools are now entitled to free school meals because their parents receive welfare payments or earn below £15,575 a year, the figures show. Last year, 14.5% of pupils were eligible."

Trying to survive on less than £16k as a family is extremely tough and, frankly, I simply don't know how I could do it. Labour's spin about tax credits is being shown to be just that, what we need is a non-means tested citizen's income coupled with redistributive taxes (personally I favour a maximum wage too!).

Yesterday I watched a government ad / info piece on how they are cracking down on benefit fraudsters. While it is all very well them to want to crack down on people defrauding the system, as the poverty gap grows what do they expect people to do, tug their forelocks? I'm not condoning fraud, but Labour need to understand people's needs and stop pandering to the rich.

They should also remember that former Work and Pensions Secretary, James Purnell who resigned last week, claimed £25o on fridge magnets. £250 is about the same as a month's dole money.

Those in power need to have an insight into what it means to live in today's world. When I get elected to parliament I intend to take the national average wage. That is not to say that I don't think the job is important and should attract a reasonable wage, just that I think that the average wage should be reasonable and liveable.

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