Thatcherism saw child poverty grow by 121 per cent

Yesterday we ran a piece on the level of people living in poverty under Margaret Thatcher in response to a claim by Guido Fawkes which claimed the poor had "got richer under Thatcher". I dealt with a lot of this yesterday; but here is another graph showing a bit more straightforwardly the growth in relative poverty during the Thatcher years.

Yesterday we ran a piece on the number of people living in poverty under Margaret Thatcher in response to a claim by Guido Fawkes which claimed the poor had “got richer under Thatcher”.

I dealt with a lot of this yesterday; but here is another graph showing a bit more straightforwardly the growth in relative poverty during the Thatcher years.

Source: http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/hbai/hbai2011/pdf_files/full_hbai12.pdf (p.60)

Percentages are perhaps more helpful, however, because, as Tim Nichols of the Child Poverty Action Group put it, the numbers can be affected by changes in the size of different population groups (there were more pensioners, but fewer children at the end of Thatcher’s time in office). Percentages may therefore make more sense.

For relative poverty, in percentages and after housing costs, the changes from 1979 to 1991 were as follows:

  • Whole population: 13%, increased to 24% – an increase by (not of) 85%
  • Children: – 14%, increased to 31% – an increase by 121%
  • Pensioners: 29%, increased to 36% – an increase by 24%

HT Tim Nichols of the Child Poverty Action Group.

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

14 Responses to “Thatcherism saw child poverty grow by 121 per cent”

  1. Gareth Millward

    While clearly poverty increased under Thatcher, there is a danger in using relative poverty figures. The Tories at the time constantly attacked the left for using it as a measure, at one point saying poverty campaigners would find poverty in paradise.

    That said, absolute poverty – what the Tories would like you to use, since they can claim anything above starvation isn’t poverty – is also useless. So, while you’re never going to get reliable figures, these are a definite indicator of how unfair and unequal Britain became as a result of taxation and welfare policies designed to help the rich. Not enough money for disabled housewives – plenty of money for mortgage payment credits.

  2. Tony G

    Child poverty didn’t grow by 121%. The child poverty percentage rate grew by 121%, which is pretty meaningless whatever Tim Nichols says. For example, if child poverty grew from 1.4% to 3.1%, it would still be be a “121% increase”. It tells you very little.

    Child poverty grew by… 95%. Or you could say more reasonably that the child poverty rate went up by 16 percentage points.

  3. OldLb

    You’re ignoring the debts.

    Under Labour the pensions debt grew by 736 bn a year.

    Include the debts, and everyone in the UK has net assets of zero.

  4. OldLb

    More importantly, you have to ask does the welfare state help the low paid and poor?

    If you’re one of the Philpott mob you’ve had a lottery win. He’s received 4 million in payments and services.

    That’s made lots of people very poor.

    Now scale it up for others, and the problem is very large.

    They’ve lost their pensions to the welfare state that can’t pay.

Comments are closed.