Myths about Poverty
Email Campaign

I am grateful to you for bringing the report, The Lies we tell ourselves: ending comfortable myths about poverty, to my attention, as I had not been sent a copy of this and would not otherwise have known about it.

I appreciate your feeling that the rhetoric surrounding this debate can be unhelpful and polarise opinion. However, I would like to assure you that fairness is at the heart of the Government’s reforms. Those who are vulnerable will not be stigmatised and will continue to receive Government support.

This Government is getting to grips with a system that became completely out of control under the last administration. I strongly believe that the best way of helping children out of poverty is to help those who can work, get back into work, so I am pleased that the Government is overhauling the benefits system to ensure that work always pays.

Universal Credit will remove some of the barriers to work that exist when benefits are withdrawn at a faster rate than money from work can be earned. Under the new system, benefit will be withdrawn gradually as claimants start work or increase their earnings, meaning their total income goes up. To tackle child poverty, the Government is adopting a revolutionary approach which will tackle the root causes of this including worklessness, educational failure and family breakdown.

These reforms will improve the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities, with the Universal Credit making three million people better off. In addition, by next year, the Government will have taken two million of the lowest earners out of paying tax altogether.

Of course these decisions are tough and controversial but we are dealing with one of the biggest deficits in the world, and the largest in the whole of Europe. We must contain the soaring cost of welfare. As a country we are borrowing around £2,000 per year for every man, woman and child. That makes £8,000 a year for every family of four. Unless we get to grips with this it will be the debt we run up now that will lead future generations to be stuck in poverty. There is nothing morally acceptable about imposing such a burden on children as yet unborn.

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