Inequality and Social Mobility

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:58 pm on 12th June 2019.

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Photo of Amber Rudd Amber Rudd The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 4:58 pm, 12th June 2019

I know there are people who have difficulties, and I listen to people in my Hastings constituency. I try to make sure that we respond as a Government, and I try to help them individually, but the Government cannot just base policy on anecdotes. We also have to look at the statistics and there are many different ways of doing that.

The hon. Member for Wirral West may quote relative or absolute statistics, but it is important to have an agreed basis so that we know we are measuring the same thing. That is why I have said we will look at the Social Metrics Commission’s “A new measure of poverty for the UK” report, of which she may approve because it looks not just at people’s income but at their actual spending. That makes a huge difference to people on low incomes. I urge her to look at the report.