Lies about poverty: Shattering the myths
13 million people – including 3.6 million children – live in poverty in the UK today. A major new report, launched by four leading Churches including the Methodist Church, shows how evidence and statistics have been misused, misrepresented and manipulated to create myths that blame and stigmatise the most vulnerable in society.
The Churches hope that the report, The lies we tell ourselves: ending comfortable myths about poverty, will empower Christians and others to challenge myths and lies about poverty wherever they find them.
The report includes stories like Neil’s, a long-distance lorry driver until ill health meant he had to give up work. He’s in danger of losing his home because of the government’s planned benefit reforms. “I was a proud man, I always worked, but I can no longer afford that luxury.
Benefit changes reduce my ability to eat properly. I can’t afford to keep the fridge on all the time, and I can’t afford to heat my home all the time,” he said. “I feel like my children and my friends no longer look up to me because I have nothing. I feel like a failure. I don’t feel like a person anymore.”
Every MP and Member of the Scottish Parliament has been given a copy with a challenge to speak truthfully about poverty and welfare reform.
You can get involved in the following ways:
Read the report for yourself. See how many myths about poverty absorbed without realising it.
Email your MP. Ask your MP to read and respond to the report. Click here to find your MP and for suggestions about a letter which you can amend.
Arrange a meeting with your MP. It may be easier than you might think. We have a handy guide that will help you get going.
Click here to access all these resources and more including a video, more information, a truth and lies about poverty pub guide, presentations and sermon notes.