Thursday, 19 March 2009

A portrait of poverty

OK, I'm sort of watching Question Time although it's not particularly inspiring tonight, and tweeting a bit through it, so not really able to do a proper post but thought I should mention Amelia Gentleman's excellent piece in the Guardian yesterday, on child poverty, which focused on one household in Hartcliffe, south Bristol. I've been in touch with Amelia over the past month or two, and know she has been doing a huge amount of background work on this issue, for example, meeting with parents at the Single Parent Action Network in Easton. A good piece of well-researched journalism, which nails the myth that poverty is self-inflicted (e.g. those feckless single mothers spending it all on drink or fags or pizza) or is just about a kid not being able to afford designer trainers or the latest Nintendo. The most telling point in the article though is the mother's admission she is trying to pay off around £600 in bank charges and penalties; it's those things which really hit a family's finances for six.

Will be doing lots more on child poverty over the next few months, in the run-up to the Budget and the launch of the Child Poverty Bill. Watch this space.

1 comment:

bevanite said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/mar/14/labour-welfare-child-poverty - Another great article on Labour's opportunity to meet their target on child poverty and make what seemed impossible, possible. Recession will make things a lot harder, but if fairness is truly top of the Labour agenda, the abolition of child poverty has to be a priority.