James Forsyth

Jump-starting social mobility

Jump-starting social mobility
Text settings
Comments

Gary Duncan has an important piece in this morning’s Times keying off Reform’s report on social mobility. As Gary writes,

“The realities behind Mr Brown's rhetoric on poverty are a lot less impressive than his boasts of being the best friend of the disadvantaged imply. The stark truth is that after a decade of Labour Government, Britain is a nation of greater income inequality, in which the plight of the very poor has worsened. True, Labour has succeeded in lifting half a million children out of poverty since 1998. Yet the Government's figures are based on a poverty line drawn at 60 per cent of average incomes. If it is placed, instead, at 40 per cent - officially defined as “severe poverty” - the picture looks much bleaker, with the numbers of children in such dire straits no lower than in 1997.”

Any party that aspires to government, must have policies to address this problem. Brown is right that the waste of talent in this country is tragic. But sadly his policies have failed on this front. What is needed, as Gary argues, is radical reform of the education and welfare systems and a refashioning of the tax system to reward work. 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

Comments
Topics in this articlePolitics