Saffron Walden: Government propaganda would have us believe that deprivation is due to idleness or fecklessness

CONGRATULATIONS to the Reporter on last week’s extensive coverage of child poverty in Uttlesford.

Living as we do, in one of the nation’s more affluent areas, it is easy to forget the day to day struggle for economic survival that many families are caught up in. Your coverage was a timely reminder.

The government propaganda machine would have us believe that deprivation is due to idleness or fecklessness but this demonisation is a distortion of the facts. Figures from the respected Joseph Rowntree Foundation show that over 6 million people classed as living in poverty were in households where people worked.

In-work poverty now outstrips workless poverty. Numbers claiming tax credits, whether to supplement poverty wages or for those who want a full time job but can only find part time work, have never been higher.

This is why recent government legislation such as the imposition of a one per cent cap on tax credits over the next three years, caps on housing benefits and the iniquitous “bedroom tax” is a heartless attack on those who work hard but every day face a struggle for survival.

With 22 millionaires in the cabinet, it is not surprising that there is a massive disconnect between government and the real world.

Perhaps we should expect this from a conservative government but I do wonder how their Liberal Democrat partners can sleep at night.

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Brian Wilson

Cherry Garden Lane