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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 December 2017

End Tory war on poor

Four million kids live in poverty, photo Bridget Coila (Creative Commons)

Four million kids live in poverty, photo Bridget Coila (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Laurel Fogarty

Just weeks after Chancellor Phillip Hammond boasted that Tory MPs had never had it so good, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published an explosive report showing the rest of us are suffering through the first sustained rise in child and pensioner poverty for 20 years.

The report showed that 14 million people in the UK - over 20% of the population - are living below the poverty line, struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

This figure includes four million children now living below the poverty line in households that cannot meet their basic needs. These children are less likely to do well at school and more likely to suffer from health problems compared to their richer counterparts, pushing them into a cycle of poverty that spans generations.

Even for those in work, the report shows that insecure and poorly paid employment does not keep people out of poverty.

Despite Tory lies, eight million people in poverty live in families where at least one person is in work. One in eight workers - 3.7 million people - are living pay cheque to pay cheque, spending most of their income on extortionate rents.

The fight for an end to zero-hour contracts and for a real living wage is more crucial than ever. While workers make huge profits for the bosses, our families are falling into poverty.

Theresa May's desperate empty promise to tackle society's "burning injustices" is now embarrassing even Tory advisers. Her entire 'social mobility' team has quit over the government's lack of action

As the Tories forge ahead with cuts to benefits alongside the disastrous Universal Credit programme, they are forcing millions more into poverty, debt and homelessness.

This cruel government has limped on for long enough. Its political agenda of austerity and privatisation has contributed to the deaths of over 120,000 people.

The Tories - aided in many cases by the Blairites - have committed what the researchers who produced that figure have called "economic murder." They have forced children into poverty, the effects of which will follow these young people throughout their lives.

The power to bring this government to its knees lies with workers. We must fight for coordinated strikes to bring down the Tories, and for democratic workers' control of the economy. Socialist policies can reverse the shameful rise in poverty shown in this report.

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