e.phemera: The Single Mother’s Manifesto

This won’t be available for too long, what with the Times Online retreating behind a pay-wall, but J.K Rowling’s opinion piece today is marvellous. I urge you to read the whole thing, but here are a few choice nuggets.

Talking of Cameron’s assertion that his marriage tax break is a token gesture, saying it’s not the money, it’s the message:

Nobody who has ever experienced the reality of poverty could say “it’s not the money, it’s the message”. … When you are two pence short of a tin of baked beans, and your child is hungry, it is the money. When you find yourself contemplating shoplifting to get nappies, it is the money. If Mr Cameron’s only practical advice to women living in poverty, the sole carers of their children, is “get married, and we’ll give you £150”, he reveals himself to be completely ignorant of their true situation.

Speaking of her decision to remain a domiciled tax-payer:

I am indebted to the British welfare state; the very one that Mr Cameron would like to replace with charity handouts. When my life hit rock bottom, that safety net, threadbare though it had become under John Major’s Government, was there to break the fall.

And she concludes:

Child poverty remains a shameful problem in this country, but it will never be solved by throwing millions of pounds of tax breaks at couples who have no children at all. David Cameron tells us that the Conservatives have changed, that they are no longer the “nasty party”, that he wants the UK to be “one of the most family-friendly nations in Europe”, but I, for one, am not buying it. He has repackaged a policy that made desperate lives worse when his party was last in power, and is trying to sell it as something new.

Seriously,  go and read the whole thing, it’s great.

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