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Iain Duncan Smith’s credit system doesn’t benefit anyone
HOW ironic that the Press should carry two news articles, adjacent to each other in the edition of December 23.
One reporting that Iain Duncan Smith (IDS), the Work and Pensions Secretary, had accused leaders of a major food bank charity of “scaremongering” and denying that benefit reforms were linked to the rocketing number of people turning to food banks for assistance.
The other from the charity Action for Children, stating that British society must not revert to the “times of Charles Dickens” and leave the nation’s poorest families in desperate need of food and clothes.
Readers surely, will need no reminding that IDS is the head of the same department that has just been found guilty of wasting over £40,000,000 of taxpayers’ money on a computer system that has failed to bring in his claim to fame (Universal Credit) and over the next five years could possibly cost the tax payer another £90,000,000 and that the Liberal Democrats in the coalition government are allowing this to happen.
Surely it must be time for IDS to be renamed as I Deny Statistics.
Howard Perry, St James Place, Dringhouses, York.
• I TAKE exception to comments in Gavin Aitchison’s column of December 31, headlined Demonising the poor.
He claims critics are calling for no further improvements to society. This is not true. No one has said anything of the sort. I would have more justification in accusing a columnist of demonising anyone who dares to question the Stamp Out Poverty campaign.
References to personal priorities including cigarette and alcohol consumption are not cruel but honest observations. These are legitimate concerns which must be addressed in any proper debate.
Unfortunately it does not suit the mindset of those in the campaign, and so anyone who raises such an issue is immediately branded a wicked uncaring individual. There are, of course, many poor people struggling through no fault of their own and who need and deserve help.
However, it is also true that lifestyle choices and individual responsibility are valid points which cannot simply be dismissed.
The campaign may have good intentions, but it has a political undertone and is naive and simplistic. Even if a definition of what constitutes poverty in Britain in the 21st century could be agreed, any idea that it can be totally eradicated is without credibility.
So far the only solution put forward is that employers should miraculously create more jobs and pay massively higher wages. Just like that. Regardless of the fact that this would further push up the cost of living and result in bankruptcy of enterprises no longer viable.
Matthew Laverack, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York (Sent from: Warrugal, Victoria, Australia).
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