Thursday, March 01, 2007

A better way to help the poor is to reduce poverty

"Many of the claims made about [policy] effects on the poor are, in fact, rubbish. Among the poorest 20% of Britons, 59% don't have access to a car. Cheap flights are mostly used by the affluent for weekends in their French or Spanish holiday homes: the average annual income of passengers passing through Stansted in 2005 was £51,000, and fewer than 8% came from the bottom two social brackets. Poor children never got through the 11-plus in large numbers, and in England's surviving grammar schools, only 2% receive free school meals against 14% nationally. It isn't transport policy or education policy that hits poor people hardest. It's poverty." —Peter Wilby

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