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Save The Children & Child Poverty in the UK.

Thanks to the Unique way the BBC is funded, Save the Children got a free advert courtesy of BBC R4’s thought for the day this morning. Akhandadhi Das contrasted Save the Children’s first ever campaign about poverty in the UK with the charitable status of independent schools, explicitly suggesting the “need of independent schools to fill their places” was less worthy than Save the Children stepping way outside its remit and embarking on a party-political crusade. Let’s leave aside the left-wing obsession with private schools, and deal directly with Thought for the day acting as a party-political broadcast for the Labour party.

Child poverty in the UK is NOT caused by a lack of resources. Every child has access to the NHS, free education and the parent receives £20.30 per week for the first child and £13.40 for each subsequent one in child benefit, no questions asked. If there is no job in the household, the family will be housed at public expense, and they will be eligible for income support, a benefit rarely mentioned by welfare campaigners because it’s calculated as “the difference between the claimant’s net weekly income and the amount required to meet his or her needs”. Worklessness in the UK does NOT result in kids starving, or being unclothed, or not being able to get to school, or even being homeless, unless there is contributory negligence by the child’s parents. Yes, it’s true those kids are unlikely to have access to the latest fashions, and may not be able to afford every school trip, but the poverty is only relative to others whose parents work.
Work, of course is the route out of poverty. The state cannot and should not simply give the poor money, as this creates a moral hazard. Unfortunately, in taking up low-paid work many poor people face the loss of benefits and face a marginal effective tax rate over 100%, mainly thanks to Gordon Brown’s working & child tax-credit system. Furthermore, the Benefits system with it’s 72 separate bureaucracies makes reclaiming benefits should a job be lost an absurdly onerous process resulting in a massive disincentive to take on the low-paid, insecure “starter” job. And the low-skilled are, of course, banned from ever selling their labour at their real marginal rate of production, thanks to the Minimum wage, and will therefore never get any job and hope of improving their skills .When you factor in the cost of travel and things like work-clothes and sustenance, it simply doesn’t pay to try to get off benefits.
This is the poverty trap, Iain Duncan Smith’s Centre For Social Justice has identified and is seeking to remedy, in part through a universal credit, simplifying the benefits system.
This has not prevented the left from blaming child poverty on “the cuts”, and describing Iain Duncan Smith as a monster, intent on putting a boot on the face of the poor. Every change to the benefits system has been opposed tooth and nail by the unions, who will lose valuable jobs in the bureaucracy, and by the Labour stay-behind OPs in the Quangocracy for whom “poverty” is a meal-ticket. Poverty is being openly blamed on a recession caused by Government policy, and on “the cuts”. This simply isn’t true. Most child poverty in the UK is in the 20% or so of households where no-one works. Many of these are Multi-Generational welfare families, who are absolutely immune from the business cycle. This is also the reason it’s very hard to see correlation in crime numbers with the business cycle.
Save the Children is not an impartial organisation. It is run by a former Blair and Brown number 10 staffer, Justin Forsyth, and Brendan Cox, Director of Policy and Advocacy was a SpAd to Gordon Brown. Amongst the Trustees are a number of Labour quangocrats, including a director of “Labour’s greatest success”, SureStart, Naomi Eisenstadt. The Coalition are not convinced SureStart is worth the money. This campaign, the first by Save the Children concerning poverty in the UK – they werre silent during the winter of discontent, or during the massive rise in youth unemployment under Blair and Brown, is aimed squarely at the coalition government by a nakedly partisan, left-wing organisation.
It is Save the Children who should have its charitable status revoked, not Eton.

Movember

I’m growing a ‘tache for charideeeee, inspired by, but independent of Movember.


look, it’s been less than a week, OK?

The RNLI provide an emergency service without Government money. Volunteers save lives at sea, and millions of people make this one of the most popular charity causes in the UK (something Jonathan May-Bowles, the “activist” who got beaten up by Mrs Murdoch thinks wrong because it’s “middle class“). The people have not forgotten that our island nation is totally dependent on seaborne trade, even if our political masters have: There are no warships patrolling UK waters. There are those who say quality services cannot be provided but by the state; the 4,500 Men and Women of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution demonstrate otherwise. Follow @outonashout on twitter to see just how often they are deployed.

The Just Giving page is here.

Medicins Sans Frontieres provide medical and emergency relief in over 80 countries, usually arriving before the news cameras and leaving long afterwards. They eschew photogenic disaster campaigns – or indeed any high profile marketing, but deploy themselves according to need, rather than media hype. They spend very little on marketing and even less on political lobbying, remaining dedicated to getting Doctors and medical staff to those who need it whether or not the cause is fashionable. They also undertake primary research into tropical diseases, which they make available to all, for free. I reckon my contributions to this charity amount to about the same amount as the proportion of my tax bill the Government spends on international aid. I know which bit does more good for people in desperate need.

The Just Giving page is here.

Neither take money from the UK, or any other Government, valuing their independence. I give to them willingly and feel good about doing so, and If the British Government didn’t waste so much of my money, I’d give them both more. I’d like to raise £100 for each but any money will be good, and more is better.

3rd Nov