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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 October 2011

Con-Dems' policies increase poverty

Dave Carr

Living standards are set to fall and poverty will massively increase in the coming years as a result of the coalition government's tax and benefit counter-reforms. According to the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) nearly one in four children in the UK will live in absolute poverty by 2020.

Using measures of poverty defined in the Child Poverty Act (2010) the IFS calculates that "the period between 2009-10 and 2012-13 is likely to be dominated by a large decline in real incomes across the income distribution."

The report continues: "Absolute poverty is forecast to rise by about 600,000 children and 800,000 working-age adults. Median income is expected to fall by around 7% in real terms, which would be the largest three-year fall for 35 years.

"The net direct effect of the coalition government's tax and benefit changes is to increase both absolute and relative poverty. This is because other changes, such as the switch from RPI- to CPI- indexation of means-tested benefits, more than offset the impact on poverty of Universal Credit.

"Absolute and relative child poverty are forecast to be 23% and 24% in 2020-21 respectively. These compare to the targets of 5% and 10%, set out in the Child Poverty Act (2010) and passed with cross-party support. This would be the highest rate of absolute child poverty since 2001-02 and the highest rate of relative child poverty since 1999-2000."

But at the same time as the Con-Dems are further squeezing the working poor and the unemployed to pay for the capitalist crisis, the government's business-friendly policies have allowed the super-rich to get richer. The 1,000 richest individuals in the UK saw their collective wealth soar by a staggering 60.2 billion in 2011 (an 18% rise over 2010), to an unbelievable 395.8 billion.

Clearly, inequality and an ever-widening wealth gap go hand in hand with capitalism. And it shows that a fundamental shift in wealth and power from the ruling elite to the majority - ie socialism - is essential to end poverty and inequality.

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In The Socialist 12 October 2011:


Socialist Party youth and students

Interview with a Jarrow marcher

Marching in the footsteps of history

Low pay, no way!

Protest, demonstrate, occupy


International socialist news and analysis

US: Occupy Wall Street - Demanding jobs not cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

Strike on 30 November - no secret talks

'We have not gone away' say Southampton council workers

Construction electricians

60 printers sacked as bosses make a million

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party news and analysis

Sovereign debt crisis, recession... No way out under capitalism

Cameron's big 'them and us' society

Fox takes cronyism to new level

Wales Assembly budget: Labour piles on the misery

Kinnock's bigotry

Con-Dems' policies increase poverty

Fast news


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

NHS protesters occupy Westminster Bridge

Health campaigners take Ascot by storm

Coventry by-election helps build socialist alternative to cuts

London elections - more support for TU/anti-cuts stand


Socialist Party fundraising

Socialism 2011 finance appeal


Socialist history

Battle of Cable Street 1936 - When workers stopped the fascists


The Socialist - readers' comments

Portrait of a pension pilferer


 

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