When carrying out research on charities we often (too often) get side-tracked by interesting documents. One such document is the recently published; The Lies we tell ourselves: ending comfortable myths about poverty (Get it here).
This report from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, the Church of Scotland and the United Reformed Church confirms what many of us know.
The report confirms the Conservative and Liberal Democrat government is deliberately misusing evidence and statistics to misrepresent the plight of the poor. Researchers said evidence had been skewed to put the blame for poverty at the door of the poor themselves.
Paul Morrison from the Methodist Church said:
“Everybody is complicit – politicians, the media and the general public. This is because we have a culture which allows us to tell lies in public life.”
More Government Lies
The report’s authors also challenged the idea, repeated by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan-Smith (already known for telling lies on his CV), that in some parts of Britain there are three generations of families where nobody has ever worked.
According to Mr Morrison, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has admitted that no data exists to prove this claim.
If you are interested in an honest debate about poverty and want to explode the myths, then read and quote this report. Don’t let politicians and the media get away with it anymore.
Many of the so-called anti-poverty charities in the UK would do well to read this report and act accordingly.