Finally, a long-term social justice plan from Ministers – but note the missing M-word: marriage
by David Burrowes MP, Conservative Home:
Last week’s triggering of Article 50 and the next two years of Brexit negotiations will doubtless define the Government. However, the success of the Government’s Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families policy paper could be the other defining issue.
Flick through the Government’s 24 pages of poverty-fighting strategy, and you will get the message that worklessness is bad – very bad. A society that works for everyone is now being envisaged for athose who don’t work at all. The Government is not only for the JAMs (Just About Managing) but now also for the NAAMs (Not At All Managing).
There is no great new vision or resetting of Government in the paper, but a simple (and powerful) restating of the case for ensuring work is the best route out of poverty. The strategy sets out the effects of long-term worklessness far beyond the absence of a weekly pay packet.
There’s very little extra money, even less hyperbole – and a lot of data. This is poverty-fighting, Theresa May-style. No flashy vision for changing the world – but a methodical, evidence-based approach to policy development. Programmes are tested, trialled and then delivered based on what works.
Almost exactly a year ago on this very site, I urged our former Prime Minister to deliver a “long-term social justice plan” – and today I reckon we have finally got one, but must enter a few caveats.