Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

The EHRCs Report Into Child Poverty Is More Of The Obvious Obviousness

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has released it’s report into how the changes in welfare and benefits are going to influence poverty, especially child poverty. Their finding is entirely unremarkable – The Tories are reversing one of the major policies of the last Labour Government.

This is, you know, one of he points and purposes of having elections., So that, if we the peeps decide so, we can get rid of the bastards and their ideas and have some new and or different ones. A major policy of that last Labour Government being to tax everyone in order to funnel money to families containing children. The aim being to reduce “child poverty,” something we must recall is measured in relative terms. That is, tax would be raised to be splashed out again upon reducing inequality.

You can support this policy if you wish, you can equally be against it. But it really was a policy of he last non-Tory government, isn’t one of the current Tory one and we really shouldn’t be all that surprised that elections do indeed change policy:

Four months after releasing our interim report, we have today released our final cumulative impact assessment, exposing how much individuals and households are expected to gain or lose, and how many adults and children will fall below an adequate standard of living, as a result of recent changes to taxes and social security.

The report, which looks at the impact reforms from 2010 to 2018 will have on various groups across society in 2021 to 2022, suggests children will be hit the hardest as:

an extra 1.5 million will be in poverty
the child poverty rate for those in lone parent households will increase from 37% to over 62%
households with three or more children will see particularly large losses of around £5,600

Note how poverty is defined here, less than 60% of household size adjusted median income. Families with children tend to be rather younger than the average family so we’d expect at least some to be in such poverty. Similarly, we’d expect the larger the family the more this will be so.

But it’s important to grasp the real complaint here. The last government was following a political policy we approve of, reducing that child inequality. The current one isn’t.


The correct response being, well, that’s what elections are for. We get to decide whether we like what was being done to us and with our money. We seem to have decided different. And?

There’s also some fun to be had with details:

Bangladeshi households will lose around £4,400 a year, in comparison to ‘White’ households, or households with adults of differing ethnicity, which will only lose between £500 and £600 on average

Are Bangladeshi households likely to have more children than white ones? Given that immigrants tend to bring with them, for the first generation at least (large scale Bangladeshi immigration is pretty new), the fertility rates of their origin we’d probably say yes to that.

Back to our main point:

The negative impacts are largely driven by changes to the benefit system, in particular the freeze in working-age benefit rates, changes to disability benefits, and reductions in Universal Credit rates.

The government from 1997 to 2010 made it a deliberate point to use the tax and benefit system to funnel money to families with children so as to reduce the number on less than 60% of median household income. We’ve had a number of elections and different people are running the government now. They’ve got different policies too. The surprise of this is?

Isn’t this actually why we do have elections? All of which makes this complaint, the query of “How Dare They Change It?” all more than a little odd.

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So Much For Subtlety
So Much For Subtlety
6 years ago

the child poverty rate for those in lone parent households will increase from 37% to over 62%

So make divorce harder. And of course they are probably counting it wrong. A single mother who has kept the family home, or who has been made a priority for a council house, is vastly better off than the father of her children who has no home and is burdened with alimony.

6 years ago

Thomas Sowell: Any rule that confers benefits on people in a given situation increases the value of being in that situation. Brits voted to curtail such subsidies, and the Deep State conducts a search for victims. The next step is to state that Tories hate Bangladeshis on indefensible grounds such as skin color. Tim performs a vital service by again noting that, when one bean-counts by race, one has to consider the aggregate effects of different cultures, and different personal choices, including family size. There is a cost to rearing children, and it isn’t the fault of The Rich or… Read more »

6 years ago

It appears that the rise in the tax free personal allowance is being classed as a loss for those who don’t benefit from it. But the expected to rise costs of plumbers and decorators are not being classed as gains for people who get those things for free via their social/council landlord.
I have skimmed it admittedly.

Mr Ecks
Mr Ecks
6 years ago

They are still channelling taxpayers cash to a breeding program for those they have imported to replace us.

Money for only one woman and two kids per male. Per male. Not for each woman he is shacked up with and the pair of kids he has with her.

6 years ago


CLose Gov’t/Taxpayer funded “The Equality and Human Rights Commission” quango.

Like PHE & DFID they are taxpayer funded lobbying/campaigning entities used as make work schemes for Guardian readers and their ilk.

6 years ago

@Tim Worstall

Why, why, why have you Removed Latest Articles from home page and no link to it?

Bad move, quick ease of reading & navigating is more important than show lots.

Remember El Reg doing what you’ve copied? Complaints made and readership down.

They partially relented by adding “This Week” buried in footers – readership continues to decline (alexa)

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