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The Centre for Social Justice publishes 12 cost-free ideas to tackle poverty

By Tim Montgomerie
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The Centre for Social Justice has today issued a report which notes the loneliness of old people. We tend to focus on the impact of family breakdown on children but it also reduces solidarity across the generations. Read more here.

Screen shot 2011-12-24 at 08.43.13The CSJ has also published twelve cost-free policies to tackle poverty that it recommends to the Coalition:

  1. Broaden your measurement of poverty beyond income inequality, to include important factors such as family breakdown, poor education, worklessness, drug and alcohol abuse, and damaging personal debt.
  2. Enable profit-making organisations to run Free Schools in the poorest areas. This would help bring to scale the number of transformational schools required to fight educational underachievement and boost social mobility.
  3. Help prevent family breakdown by requiring Registrars to point engaged couples towards local marriage preparation and relationship education courses.
  4. Stop providing future Winter Fuel Payments to better off households. Use the money saved to create an investment fund for local projects that support socially isolated pensioners.
  5. Tackle educational exclusion by working with head teachers to get tough on the disengaged parents of pupils with challenging behaviour. Where relevant, cut their benefits to force compliance.
  6. Pressurise prime contractors in the Work Programme to make better use of the most effective charities in delivery. Without action, this essential back-to-work initiative could be undermined.
  7. Stop prisons from releasing offenders on Fridays. It fuels re-offending because many essential services, including those for offenders with addiction problems, are closed during weekends.
  8. Children don’t exist in isolation, they are part of families – so ask local authorities to collect relationship status data to assess the impact of their Child Poverty strategies on families. This should include a distinct category for marriage, to demonstrate its stability.
  9. The Talk to Frank drugs awareness programme is feeble. Urgently replace it with an effective prevention initiative that tells children and young people not to abuse drugs and alcohol.
  10. Work to develop a mentoring culture within business to deliver growth. Established companies should advise start-ups and experienced workers should mentor new entry-level employees.
  11. Allow relaxation of the National Curriculum on a temporary basis for any pupil struggling with basic literacy and numeracy, in order for them to catch up.
  12. Use pro-bono offers from the private and voluntary sectors to start delivering effective financial education for young people, in school and non-school settings.

Twelve brilliant ideas. Read more here (PDF).


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