Published: 4th Dec 2013

Too often policy has little empathy toward the poorest.  We already know that the policy default settings, such as trickle down and a ‘rising economic tide will lift all boats’ are just not strong enough to tackle poverty, even in times of growth.  But increasingly, some policy seems alarmingly detached from the plight of the poorest. We don’t need to look very far to see this detached lack of empathy.  It’s in the words of politicians, who denounce the benefit claimant as ‘a shirker’, but applaud the virtues of elite greed. It’s in some of welfare reform, which is creating real hardship, but neutralised in some policymakers minds as the ‘necessity of austerity’. It’s in economic policy which advances ‘labour market flexibility’, while underemployment rises and low wages create a growing group of ‘in work poor’.  If policy people could truly and deeply empathise with some of this hardship, would … (To read the full article, subscribe below)