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Tories pay lip-service to tackling poverty

The words "poverty" and "deprivation" occurred only once each in last week's Queen's speech. That, in itself, is a sad commentary on the priority attached to these important issues.

But even more disturbing is the sentence in which they appeared. It read: "To tackle poverty and the causes of deprivation, including family instability, addiction and debt, my Government will introduce new indicators for measuring life chances."

New indicators of "life chances" (whatever that means) will, in all likelihood, lack any continuity of data collection. This will mask any possibility of the rise in poverty under this government being compared with the progress under the former one.

I fear any newly constructed indicators will be firmly centred on a conservative set of values and thus ineffective indicators of the poverty and deprivation affecting millions of people.


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