Almost one million households in rural England live in poverty, a study says.The report, by the government’s rural advocate, says many people in the countryside have prosperous lifestyles.
But the picture is “not so rosy” for more than 928,000 households with incomes below the official poverty line of £16,492, Stuart Burgess adds.
Dr Burgess, who heads the Commission for Rural Communities, said the priorities for rural communities were providing more affordable housing, strengthening the economy of rural areas and supporting voluntary and community work.
One of his recommendations is to promote community land trusts, which ensure properties are affordable for rural workers and do not become second homes.
He told BBC News: “No government, whichever colour of the day, is going to interfere dramatically into the market economy. But what we can do is mitigate the problem.” [Emphasis added]
It seems Dr Burgess suffers from an impoverished imagination… an English parliament at the very least would be prompted to deal with this problem: I can imagine limits on second home ownership accompanied by an expansion of council housing.
Child poverty, it was promised by Blair in 1999, would be halved by 2010. This target will not be reached.
Remember, it could be ended within weeks – but no, child poverty like rural poverty is a New Labour policy.