Azara Blog: David Cameron is allegedly concerned about poverty

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Date published: 2006/11/24

The BBC says:

David Cameron claims there has been a "big change" in the way the Conservatives think about poverty.

In a speech to mark 25 years since the Scarman Report into the Brixton riots, the Tory leader will argue poverty is not only "absolute" but "relative".

It was not just "material deprivation," but the fact that some people "lacked things others took for granted".
Mr Cameron is attempting to rid the Conservative Party of its "nasty party" image by adopting a more conciliatory tone on social issues.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think there is a big change in the way that we think about poverty. Stop treating it as an issue for government, start treating as an issue for society."

But he ruled out capping high salaries and big City bonuses as way of tackling the inequality gap.

He said he did not believe "we'll make the country happier by capping the salary of David Beckham".

The "relative" definition of poverty uses median household income to determine who is "poor". The median household income is the income of the average household. It is not the average of all household incomes. In particular, no matter how much money the top earners make, it has no (direct) impact on the median household income, and so does nothing to reduce the "inquality gap". The only way the Tories (or anyone else) can reduce the rate of "relative" poverty is to close the gap between the average British household and the poor British households. So David Cameron is saying that the high flyers are good chaps and deserve their extortionate salaries. And the poor people deserve even more subsidy from the rest of society. And the people in the middle should be hammered to pay for it. It seems that David Cameron believes that the people in the middle don't really deserve their hard-earned incomes, and that he can "make the country happier" by taking more of it away from them.

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