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December 03, 2007


Pierluigi Rotundo

I think there are many factors causing poverty, but we have to change our point of view, passing from DONATE to HELP GROWING. This is the only way to solve the problem in the long term.

Pierluigi Rotundo


And who has taken those jobs that the currently workless parents should have been taking? Evidence in the media (and in person) suggests the economic migrants, who may have no children, may have children with them, or may have children left at home with relatives. They come from countries where families appear to stick together, several generations of them. They have a better work ethic, we hear. They probably export wealth, by sending money home. Some social study work is needed, perhaps indicating that we cannot solve this problem by fiscal means. (And now we hear that there is an economic crisis in Poland: not enough workers.)


Yes, higher out of work benefits are needed to hit the 2010 target for reducing child poverty. But there is a link here to low pay. At present, employers pay a lot of people less money than they need to live on, and then the government tops up their incomes through tax credits. If employers raised wages, then the government would be spending less on topping up the incomes of the low paid, hence more money for out of work (or universal) benefits. Net result is a shift in income from the bosses to the low paid workers.

Matt Munro

Couple of random thoughts -

If you equalise all incomes below 60% of median, then you disincentivize working families who earn close to that level. Why would they carry on working for what is a state guaranteed income ?

Instead of equalising pay by topping up through tax credits why (oh why) don't the government just increase personal tax allowances

Is the 60% figure realistic ? Are children really in poverty if their household income is 15k ? The major expenses of having kids (food and clothes) are cheaper in real terms than ever, other major costs (housing and utilities) are fixed irrespective of family size. The children of "the poor" get many things free (school meals, school transport, healthcare, etc) that the working populance pay for. Our definition of poverty seems to include things that only a generation ago were considered luxuries by many.

Employers aren't gonna raise wages any time soon, not with the pool of slave, sorry flexible immigrant labour, that's pouring into the country.


(And now we hear that there is an economic crisis in Poland: not enough workers.)

That is not an economic crisis - that is part of the solution.

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