Conference Report: A Future Without Poverty
by Georgia Smith
Poverty hasn’t gone away, in fact, according to some estimates it is set to get worse if nothing is done. On what should be done, shades of political opinion differ. This conference on the 2 March 2015 was an attempt to find means acceptable to all sides, to engage with a wide range of grassroots organisations and to begin a constructive dialogue to as to how we can build cross-party consensus on tackling poverty in the UK.
**Read the conference report: A Future Without Poverty**
Ryan Shorthouse of Bright Blue and Andrew Harrop of the Fabian Society who opened the conference spoke of the need to try to identify common solutions to a problem which affected everyone and while the Fabian Society’s research suggested a gloomy forecast, Andrew Harrop insisted the conference was not about doom and despair. For him, the most important thing was ensuring that people had enough money in their pockets and the way to achieve this was through work and more generous tax credits and benefits, redistributing wealth to lower and middle-income families.
This full-day conference was divided into the following sections. Please click on the links below for more detail.
- Young Voices Liverpool chapter of PEN share experiences of young people in poverty through drama
- Panel debate: A Future Without Poverty Charlie Elphicke MP, PPS to secretary of state for work and pensions, Helen Goodman MP, shadow minister for welfare reform, Kenny Imafidon, political commentator, Barry Knight, principal adviser, Webb Memorial Trust, Chair: Oliver Wright, Whitehall correspondent, the Independent
- Dragon’s Den The second part of the morning featured a Dragon’s Den style event for grassroots organisations to pitch their localised solutions to tackling poverty
- Breakout Sessions The afternoon began with five breakout sessions: Tackling Social Exclusion; Stronger Families in a 21st Century World, Getting Good Jobs: The role of business; The Future of Welfare Reform and Universal Credit; and The Skills Gap.
- Putting poverty at the heart of the 2015 general election Keynote speech from Alan Milburn, Chair of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission
- Question Time, Who has the best plan to tackle poverty? Jeremy Browne MP, former Home Office minister, Philip Collins, chief leader writer and columnist, The Times, Cllr Sarah Hayward, leader, Camden Council, Ryan Shorthouse, director, Bright Blue, Nicola Smith, head of economic and social affairs department, TUC, Chair: Ian Birrell, contributing editor, Mail on Sunday
- Closing remarks from Andrew Harrop and Ryan Shorthouse