We’re told that ever more Britons are living in poverty. This is something that the coming recession will sort out handily. For our measure of poverty is a relative one, related to median incomes. That median will fall – it’s a recession – and yet there is a floor under all incomes called the welfare state.
Another way of making the same point, a measure of relative incomes is one of inequality, not poverty, Inequality falls in recessions. The richer among us rely more upon profits as their source of income, profits fall far faster and further than other components of national income.
But, still, we are told that poverty is increasing:
The number of Britons in poverty has reached a record high of 14.5million, government figures reveal, with the majority living in working families.
Data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimated that the number of people living in a relative low-income household after housing costs had risen to 14.5 million in 2018/19 from 14 million the year before.
It is the highest number of people living in poverty in the UK since figures were collated in 2002.
Note the starting date of this statistics. It was under the Brown Terror. About when they were trying to lower relative income differences by taxing the rich more and sending the money to the poor.
That is, the statistics was entirely concocted in order to justify what they were already doing and going to do.
The correct answer to which is cut the legs out from underneath the justification by changing the counting method. Move to an actual measure of poverty – an absolute measure of living standards at a specific point in time – and junk the relative measure entirely. Or, at least rename it to what it is, a measure of inequality.
That would stop people claiming that poverty is increasing even as living standards for all are also increasing.