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Poverty? What poverty, asks former minister Currie

Retirement from politics has done little to broaden the anthropological horizons of Edwina Currie (pictured in her finery). Perhaps her mind has been on other things, dancingperhaps, so she must be strapped for time to muck up on issues such as poverty.  Yet muck up she did, in a different sense, when she told 5Live […]

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Duncan Smith falls into the poverty trap

It was prescient of work and pensions secretary Iain DuncanSmith to choose the Sir Keith Joseph Memorial Lecture to inform us that givingmoney to poor people can make their lives worse.  Sir Keith, Margaret Thatcher’s economic guru…OK, enoughsaid. Back to last night. Duncan Smith said the political classeshad become “damagingly fixated by income levels alone”. […]

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Coalition sneaks in an attack on poorest people

Lucky for the coalition that Libya is dominating the newsthat it was able to slip in a major change to social policy that erodes furtherthe miserable living standards of the lowest of low-income families. As Community Care reported, welfare minister Steve Webb (pictured) hasannounced a clampdown on Social Fund crisis loans from April.  Intended for people […]

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Poverty: Days may be numbered for legal loan sharks

There’s nothing like an economic slump to tempt the loansharks into shallower waters. The worse the economy becomes, the richer the pickingsfor the lenders. It is often the vulnerable and the desperate who end up withshort-term loans with interest rates running into the thousands of per cent. Some borrowers are driven by competitive consumerism, butothers […]

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Poverty is more divisive than immigration

Is multiculturalism doomed because of the irreconcilabletensions between the various communities, as some opinion-formers would have usbelieve? Not according to a study which concludes that poverty is far more divisivethan ethnicity and creed.

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Do the Joseph Rowntree poverty quiz

How much do you know about poverty? I thought I had some idea about the extent of the issue in the UK but the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s 10-question quiz on its website suggests I have underestimated the level. I scored five out of 10.  Have a go yourselves and let me know how you did.

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Where the Big Society meets Oliver Twist

Have things become so bad in the UK that food vouchers areto be distributed to the poor?

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Wonky wheels on Iain Duncan Smith’s ‘bike-lite’

So the party of the family wants to shift jobless peoplefrom unemployment blackspots to areas of high vacancy rates. Not so much a brutal “geton yer bike” but a polite “let me help you on yer bike (with an almighty shove)”.It’s bike-lite.

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Child trust funds: Good riddance or a betrayal?

It is seldom that the right-wing press and the leftish pressharmonise, but the abolition of the child trust fund seems to have them singingfrom the same song sheet.

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Child poverty aims confounded by equality gap

Perhaps when, in 1999, Labour pledged to halve child povertyby 2010 and eradicate it by 2020, the party leadership thought this grand aim wouldhave been forgotten 11 years later.

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