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TORIES: Jones challenges poverty claims

02 November 2009

Conservative leader David Cameron's claim that 'it had not been the 'wicked Tories' who had made 'the poorest poorer' and made inequality greater' since 1979, has been challenged.


Labour MP Lynne Jones said that 'independent information from the House of Commons Library that shows that this is not correct'. 


She said that the House of Commons Library points out that, " The most obvious change over the period was the sharp increase in relative low income rates in the 1980s."


She said that this had been described as 'one of the biggest social changes in Britain since the Second World War'. 


The Library figures show, she said, that from 1961 until the end of the 1970s the proportion of children and of the population as a whole living in households below 60 per cent of median income remained broadly stable.But from around 1980 the rates increased sharply.


Between 1979 and the early 1990s the proportion of children in households below the 60 per cent threshold more than doubled.


In contrast, she said, under Labour there has been a steady reduction in poverty, but put into reverse since the onset of the recession. 


She said, " Labour has demonstrated its determination to get back on target in reducing child poverty with commitments in the Child Poverty Bill.


" The Tory Leader is not facing up to the reality of his Party's policies in the 80's.  It is therefore very difficult to believe he and his Party have changed as he likes to suggest.


" How can lessons have been learnt if Cameron will not admit to the biggest past Tory mistakes?


" Turning to his understanding of the economy today, it is similarly nonsensical to suggest that the recession and the increase in Government borrowing caused by having to bail out the banks, can be attributed to too much Government intervention when the opposite is, in fact, the case."






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