Throwing money at the problem of poverty
"Over recent decades, the Left and centre-Left’s answer to poverty and inequality has been to spend more money, to redistribute from richer to poorer. Yet this central social democratic ideal is being tested to the point of destruction...Few people would argue that the solution to the complex social and economic problems Britain faces is even higher spending. "
Yeah, only a few crazy Left wing people would argue for spending more money on tackling poverty! Crazy Left wing people, like, um...
Tory Secretary of State Iain Duncan Smith's Dynamic Benefits Report:
"The change in benefit withdrawal rates, earnings, and employment resulting from these proposals would increase the total annual benefits bill by £3.6 billion."
Right-wing think tank Policy Exchange:
"People on welfare should be incentivised to take up work by raising the ‘disregard’ (the
amount of money that someone is allowed to earn before they start losing benefits) to
£92.80 for all benefits. This would mean that anyone on the minimum wage who works for
16 hours keeps everything that they earn. This would give over 2.8 million people a better
reason to work.
Raising the disregard would cost £5.1 billion."
And, er, Frank Field:
"A welfare reform bill that looks forwards instead of backwards would centre on two measures. Large numbers of citizens with impeccable work records are going to be sacked. They will then find out that their continuous National Insurance contributions gives them a princely £60.50 a week benefit. That is precisely the sum an individual gets who has never worked.
A relevant welfare reform bill would lay the basis for linking the size of this contributory JSA to a claimant's work record. Somebody who has worked continuously for five years would get double the payment and somebody, for example, working ten years would see the insurance benefit tripled."Whether it's spending £3.6 billion more on giving unemployment benefits to people who are working from Iain Duncan Smith, paying £92.80 in benefits to everyone working 16 hours on the minimum wage from Policy Exchange, or paying some unemployed people more than £180 per week in Jobseekers' Allowance from Frank Field, the principle that reducing unemployment and poverty requires more spending isn't even controversial, and has been accepted on the Right just as on the Left.
It is a bit troubling that the government's new star adviser on poverty doesn't seem to have realised this.