*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Poor are scapegoated, says report

by
01 March 2013

by a staff reporter

A REPORT by a coalition of Churches has accused the Government of peddling "myths" and manipulating data to scapegoat the poorest families in Britain.

The report, The Lies We Tell Ourselves, challenges ideas about poverty that, it says, are spread by the Government and some sections of the media. About 13 million people live in poverty in the UK.

The report, from Churches whose total membership is more than one million, says that statistics have been manipulated by politicians and the media to support a comfortable but dangerous story: that the poor deserve the cuts that they are facing.

It says: "This report, produced by the Baptist Union, the Church of Scotland, the Methodist Church, and the United Reformed Church is intended to lay bare some of the myths about the poor."

The Prime Minister and other senior ministers have, it says, scapegoated the poorest 120,000 families in Britain, labelled them as "troubled", and blamed them for a "large proportion of the problems in society".

Researchers said that the common factor in the 120,000 families was not criminality or addiction, but the mother's mental-health problems, and that the figures used by the Government were "statistically flawed and highly misleading".

Other "myths" about poverty that the report says it exposes include the suggestion that child poverty is due to parents' not wanting to work. In fact, researchers found, "in-work poverty is now more common than out-of-work poverty."

Addiction to drink or drugs affects four per cent of families claiming benefits, and benefit is at historically low levels, the researchers say.

The report is being sent to every MP in the UK, and every Member of the Scottish Parliament.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

 

Church Times Month

March 2024

For the whole of March, Church Times is offering completely FREE online access, so you can share stories without a paywall.

We are also asking our readers to spread the news of the Church Times among their friends, acquaintances, and fellow churchgoers (and non-churchgoers).

Find out more

 

Keeping faith in Journalism: a Church Times Webinar

11 March 2024 | 6pm GMT

An expert panel discusses trust between the media and the public

Online Tickets available

 

Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available

 

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

Welcome to the Church Times

 

You are able to read this for FREE as part of Church Times Promotional Month, where for the whole of March, we are offering unlimited web access to the newspaper.

From next month to explore the Church Times website fully, you will need to sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers will return to only being able to read four articles for free each month.