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Child poverty figures to be rigged to allow tax credit cuts

There are growing indications from the government that the way child poverty is measured will be changed in order to allow tax credits to be cut, as part of the plan to reduce the benefits bill by £12 billion.

David Cameron dropped heavy hints in a speech on Monday that he plans to cut tax credits available to low paid workers. He said he wanted to see:

“A welfare system that encourages work - well paid work."

However, he went on to add:

“The wrong track though, is to ignore the causes, and simply treat the symptoms of the social and economic problems we face.

"Take for example the complacency in how we approach the crucial issue of low pay. There is what I would call a merry-go-round.

"People working on the minimum wage having that money taxed by the government and then the government giving them that money back - and more - in welfare.

"Again, it's dealing with the symptoms of the problem - topping up low pay rather than extending the drivers of opportunity - helping to create well paid jobs in the first place."

If tax credits are cut, however, this is likely to plunge more low paid families with children into poverty.

Figures due out this week are already expected to show that child poverty has increased for the first time on a decade.

If tax credits to families with children are cut there is likely to be a legal challenge, because reducing child poverty was made a legal requirement under Gordon Brown’s government.

So, in order to get tax credit cuts safely in place, the government will almost certainly have to repeal that legal requirement and also redefine child poverty so that it is about something much harder to measure accurately. This could be things like the number of children living with parents who abuse substances or have debt problems.

In the near future, then, people in low paid jobs will be blamed for not getting better paid ones and the government will claim there has been a massive reduction in child poverty because they have somehow ‘fixed’ problem families.

The reality will be more people living in poverty and being demonised for doing so.

Comments  

+2 #2 carruthers 2015-06-24 22:09
Quote:
There is what I would call a merry-go-round. People working on the minimum wage having that money taxed by the government and then the government giving them that money back - and more - in welfare."
So, he has a solution. Get through the "People working on the minimum wage having that money taxed by the government" bit and then stop the merry-go-round.

Simply don't give them the money in welfare, let the government keep it or give it in tax cuts to the wealthy. Problem solved.

Mind you the bare-faced hypocrisy of wanting, "“A welfare system that encourages work - well paid work." almost takes ones breath away.

This is a government that tries to force people into zero-hours contract jobs for which they prepare them by experiencing minimum wage or below jobs.

It used to demonise the work-less as "scroungers". Now it's going after those who work really hard at very badly paying jobs and looking to paint them in vile colours too. How do you turn people who used to be "hard-working families" into "scroungers"? It goes like this:

1] Tell everyone that many working families actually receive quite a lot in "welfare" payments. (Done)

2] Get your apologists to say that we need to complete with the Chinese and the Vietnamese when it comes to "labour costs". (Done)

3] Force wages down to the poverty level and then demonise the poor for not earning enough. (Work in Progress)

4] Remove their benefits - presumably to loud applause for your "toughness" on those who aren't trying hard enough. (Scheduled for next budget)
+2 #1 shimtoan 2015-06-24 21:47
"Again, it's dealing with the symptoms of the problem - topping up low pay rather than extending the drivers of opportunity - helping to create well paid jobs in the first place."

and where will these "well paid" jobs for the 2.5 million earning under £7.00/hour* come from?


*under £7.00/h is classed as "low pay"

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