THis was written a few years ago, when Labour were rolling out their machinery to prevent discussion of austerity and exploit the fear and pain it was causing. Ignore that it is a response to St.Polly of Toynbee, its about debt, welfare, inequality, and the ‘working poor’ as the countries working families have recently been rechristened.
I read Polly Toynbee’s piece in yesterday’s Guardian, nodding in agreement with much of it. The willingness of our Conservative-led government to punish the poorest in our society, while pushing people to believe that they deserve what is coming, has been almost as astounding as the willingness of the general public to accept it.
But there are things that Polly missed, and they are things that need to be discussed if we are to hope to begin to oppose these policies effectively.
When Tony Blair stood up and said that New Labour intended to abolish child poverty, who didn’t applaud? I worked at a Jobcentre when Tax Credits and the minimum wage were introduced, and the effect was astounding. When the minimum wage was introduced, we removed cards for jobs for adults that paid 1.65 an hour. The promise that working families would have an income of more than…
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