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Thursday 2 July 2015

IDS Poverty Sham Exposed

That Iain Duncan Cough has decided to abandon the almost universally accepted measure of poverty may have outraged some: it should surprise no-one. IDS tried to pull this particular fast one three years ago, and a look at his machinations then, together with how he came to adopt the idea - Duncan Cough is not the most original of thinkers, despite the fawning press coverage - may prove instructive.
Iain Duncan Cough ((c) Getty)

The objection to using 60% of the median income as a measure of relative poverty was most strident at the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA), and their suggestions as to how we should adopt a system which they would find ideologically acceptable was part of their “report” titled Welfare Reform In Tough Times (read it HERE), co-authored by the supremely intolerant Mike Denham, their so-called “research fellow”.
Where the policy originated: TPA HQ

Denham’s attitude to public service was summed up in the name of his equally intolerant blog Burning Our Money. The TPA declared that, at a minimum, the measure of relative poverty should be lowered to 50% of the median income, or that a measure of absolute poverty should be substituted, because, well, they use that in the USA, and that means that, in the eyes of the TPA, it must be inherently superior.

From the TPA, their former chief spinner Susie Squire went through the revolving door to become a SpAd for Duncan Cough. Then, by complete coincidence you understand, he had his brilliant idea of doing away with the 60% target, if only because Mike Denham was affronted by the poor having access to refrigerators and washing machines. That they might also be allowed televisions was yet worse. Now we are right up to date.
And so Duncan Cough told the world about his new targets: “Worklessness measures will identify the proportion of children living in workless households and the proportion of children in long-term workless households … The educational attainment measures will focus on GCSE attainment for all pupils and for particularly disadvantaged pupils”. This is total horseshit. Unemployed single parents mean poverty. Equally less well off working couples with children mean otherwise. And then there is the education criterion.
By the time GCSE attainment is calculated, the system will have long ago failed those being studied. Campaigner Harry Leslie Smith, who remembers life before the NHS, did not mince his words: “There is no polite word for a man like  #IanDuncanSmith he is just the dregs at the bottom of ambition's barrel”. But IDS’ fans were more than happy.

Take for instance the serially clueless Tim Montgomerie, taker of the Murdoch shilling, who Tweeted “Big moment from IDS. Rejecting Left's materialistic idea of poverty for broader understanding of basis of a good life”. It’s got sweet Fanny Adams to do with the Left, materialism, understanding, or ideas. This is policy imported by an ideologically bent yet intellectually deficient charlatan, from a group who don’t care about the less well off.

I called the TPA’s work “Picking On The Poorest”. That is what IDS is now doing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, what did you expect?

IDS has been trying to get even with life ever since his fellow tory gangsters kicked him out of the leader role for coughing too much.

This means sticking the boot into easy targets.

Don't think it can't get worse. Look what's being done to Greece and what was done to Spain, Ireland and Italy.

Just to get these latest cuts in perspective: They amount to less than half the total sum set aside to refund the PPI scam, and infinitely small when compared to neocon tax gifts to transnational companies and oligarchs. But STILL hooray henries and oiks can't resist more thievery.

And it'll go on worsening for as long as people run away from the long term consequences. Those who think they're safe now will find they too become victims.