With the Institute for Fiscal Studies rubbishing claims that an increased minimum wage will compensate for cuts to tax credits (which are effectively a subsidy to employers paying poverty wages) Rowena Mason reports this horrific quote from Jeremy Hunt at a Tory conference fringe meeting:
“Dignity is not just about how much money you have got … Officially children are growing up in poverty if there is an income in that family of less than £16,500.
“What the Conservatives say is how that £16,500 is earned matters. It matters if you are earning that yourself, because if you are earning it yourself you are independent and that is the first step towards self-respect.
“If that £16,500 is either a high proportion or entirely through the benefit system you are trapped. It is about pathways to work, pathways to independence. It is about creating a pathway to independence, self-respect and dignity.
The message: if you are receiving help from the state then you are not worthy of respect.