The Thick of It


Friday, January 22, 2010

Social recession?

David Cameron has claimed that Labour has caused a "social recession." Perhaps he is pointing this out as he aims to deepen it?

His timing is ill thought. Figures released today show overall crime down again, following yesterday's fall in unemployment. This also comes a day after the Tories confirmed that they would close thousands of Sure Start centres. The Tories would take help away from ordinary working families, using the money to instead reward marriage. How they think a small tax break will convince people to either get married or stay married is beyond me. Instead they will penalise single parents or those who choose not to get married by taking away support they would otherwise have had to bring up their children. That will lead to a social recession.

The level of social support the poorest have had under Labour is unprecedented in the modern era. A minimum wage, better schools and hospitals, Sure Start, tax credits and regeneration of our cities are just a few of the major Labour achievements. It is also incredibly short sighted to suggest that whatever social problems we have today have just arrived.

If Cameron's support for marriage is the only answer he has to our social ills then we are in for a really deep social recession if the Tories were to gain power.

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