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Ministry of Poverty Prevention

Ministry of Poverty Prevention

We’re working to embed poverty prevention in the heart of government

John Bird, Founder of the Big Issue and Crossbench Peer, has dedicated his time in the House of Lords to furthering his ambition to see poverty eradicated rather than ameliorated.

He believes that the current structure of government and public expenditure serves only to keep the poorest amongst us stuck in need, but does not do enough to lift people out of poverty or prevent more of us falling into poverty. He believes that government needs a radical change in thinking and approach, which can only be achieved through a step change in policymaking and delivery at the heart of government. Long term vision and financial planning further than the electoral cycle is essential to that goal.

What is the Ministry of Poverty Prevention?

John believes that the mechanism to deliver that change is a new government department, a Ministry of Poverty Prevention. With a focus on prevention and cure, the ministry would allow policymaking to evolve from firefighting by centralising poverty-led policy, delivery and funding. There are countless anti-poverty policies and projects we already know work but have struggled to retain the funding or patience of politicians long enough to see through to their full potential. The Ministry of Poverty Prevention will act as a repository for these solutions.

What is happening with the Ministry of Poverty Prevention?

John and his team have already prepared a draft Bill to take before parliament to attempt to make this proposal a reality. This work is based in ongoing research, parliamentary and governmental engagement, and we believe the implementation of a ministry is the most effective way to direct anti-poverty spending and make a real difference for the millions of households in this country currently living in destitution.

The Government spends on average 40% of its income on relief and the social damages thrown up by poverty.

“We have to prevent creating people whose only inheritance is poverty,” Lord Bird.

To find out more and get involved with the Ministry of Poverty Prevention contact publicaffairs@bigissue.com.
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