A Future Without Poverty – closing remarks
by Georgia Smith
A Future Without Poverty Conference – closing remarks
- Andrew Harrop, general secretary, Fabian Society
- Ryan Shorthouse, director, Bright Blue
Andrew Harrop celebrated what he saw as the left and right coming together in the conference with a shared commitment. There were differences of detail, he said, but no polar disagreement. Recurring to the ladder metaphor used by Charlie Elphicke earlier in the day, he urged concentration on moving everyone a few rungs up the same ladder, rather than moving the few from one ladder to another. He pointed to the fact that pensioner poverty had almost disappeared. Social security provision for pensioners was good, private pensions had gone up in value and the costs of old age had been reduced. There were wider lessons to be learned and applied to poverty in general, he said.
For Ryan Shorthouse, though there had not been agreement on means, there was a common view that poverty was shameful and needed to be dealt with. Four major points had emerged for him: the views of those who were poor should be listened to; poverty was still with us, though sometimes it was hidden; the government’s role in dealing with it was central, but business and civil society had important parts to play and finally, poverty no matter what guise it came in was not deserved.
Download the Bright Blue/Fabian Society conference publication A Future Without Poverty