The Big Question

Has the government done enough to tackle poverty?

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
I don’t think any government has done enough, including this one. Although the question is more complex than mere government laxity (as in percentage wage rises that simply push the less well off down the scale), government should take a lead role with policies that are more than mere safety nets and cover low earners as well as those on benefits.

Kierra Box – Young people’s activist
Of course not. Not only do we still find evidence of severe poverty and homelessness in the UK despite our prosperity, but we create child poverty around the globe by continuing to support unfair systems of trade and promoting warfare. We can’t afford to waste money on war and nuclear weapons development while failing families.

Angie Lawrence – Single mother
The government has only tipped its hat to eliminating poverty. There are many young single mothers who struggle to make ends meet. They seem stuck in this trap, at least until their children are much older. By then, these children have suffered the effects of inadequate diets and poor housing – physically, emotionally and psychologically.

Becca Cooper – York People First
People with learning difficulties don’t know they are poor as they have never been rich and they don’t control their own money. The government should make information about benefits more accessible. Parents with learning difficulties, especially single mothers, often fear they could lose their child if they can’t afford to feed and clothe them.

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