We need to bring back into focus social justice at the heart of measuring outcome of economic strategy. To grow the economy is not in itself sufficient to ensure social justice. The rich simply get richer. Of course growth is important, but we must all have a stake in that growth. Currently the poorest do not.
More than one in four children is growing up in poverty in the UK today - 3.5 million children. But in some areas of the country it is between 50 and 70%. Two-thirds of children growing up in poverty live in a family where at least one member works. This is unacceptable. But does any political party put it at the top of their strategy for dealing with the economy? Sadly, they do not.
Labour has something to shout about. During the last Labour government child poverty fell. Child poverty reduced dramatically with 1.1 million children lifted out of poverty. This reduction is credited in large part to measures that increased the levels of lone parents working, as well as real and often significant increases in the level of benefits paid to families with children. The recession and austerity has reversed that trend. The poor are getting poorer. It is an unfair prospectus and it is time we had a party speak up for them.
The current focus on tax avoidance by the richest is a good thing, but only if it now translates into a movement for fair taxation.
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