A recent government report into poverty paints a depressing picture of inequality in Britain.
The Acheson Report on Health Inequality, set up by New Labour, found that working class people die younger, and suffer more from lung cancer, coronary heart disease, strokes, and suicides than the rich. They also suffer more house vandalism, and their children are less well-fed, despite the fact that their mothers often go without. Children are less likely to have any form of pre-school education, and have less access to child care. Not surprisingly, after this start in life, they do less well at school. The list goes on…
The report shed light on the cause of this poverty. Lack of money. While this is blindingly obvious to anyone reading this, it is not apparently obvious to politicians. They keep harping on about how throwing money at the problem will not solve it. New Labour's approach is that those in poverty should help themselves to their New Deals and whatever else is 'on offer'. The report recommended raising benefits by 25%, and a massive low-cost housing re-building programme, as a first step to reducing poverty. Ultimately, the report argued that poverty can only be overcome by reducing the gross and growing inequality that exists in British society.
The report is now, we presume, gathering dust somewhere. New Labour certainly have no plans to implement it.