Published: 3rd Dec 2013

In her new book Why Fight Poverty? Julia Unwin, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, challenges those who argue that the current levels of poverty in the UK are acceptable and inevitable. Tragically and unnecessarily, poverty is increasing. The UK has the seventh wealthiest economy in the world yet has increasing poverty and stark inequalities, both of income and wealth. Individuals and families move in and out of poverty. There has been a tendency amongst politicians and elements of the media to stigmatise the poor.  The political lexicon now contains terms such as ‘shirkers’ and scroungers’. Julia Unwin suggests that this narrative wants us to believe that poverty is a result of laziness, fecklessness, drug and alcohol abuse, big families and often associated with benefit fraud.  Of course, the latter, while wrong, costs the Treasury many times less than corporate and individual tax avoidance and evasion. Unwin argues that the … (To read the full article, subscribe below)