Does anyone believe the Tories in KCC did not change the poverty report for political reasons?
In November KCC published a report on poverty in Kent which strongly linked the worsening of poverty to the cuts in benefits. By January the top Tories at KCC had re-written the report to cast the blame onto housing issues and the economy and away from Tory led policies of benefit cuts.
Does anyone here believe that there was not a conflict of interest in that action?
According to the BBC
The first report said increases in homelessness, a rise in people in temporary accommodation, increased use of food banks and rising crime in some areas could be linked to the government's welfare changes.
Yet the revised report blames house prices, the economy (which the Tories say is getting better not worse) and the cost of living. I'm not the only one to notice the inconsistency in this or to observe that if the cost of living goes sharply up at a time when the amount of benefits drops then poverty results. Same thing different words.
Thanet Families in Need have also called out KCC's Tory spin machine on their weasley words:
Kerry Keating, director of a food bank run by Thanet Families in Need, said she blamed benefits changes for the increase in clients.
"How can the economy be blamed when there is growth in the economy?" she said.
"People are coming to us because of benefits cuts."
Tony Travers, professor in government at the London School of Economics suggested to the BCC that
The only way to get to the truth would be to get an independent organisation to look at it.
So the question remains does anyone here belive that KCC are not covering up on the issue of poverty in Kent? Is anyone convinced that they are not simply trying to protect their Westminster colleagues?
Did KCC's Conservative Leader accidently tell the truth or did he really need to make the report a little more "balanced" and by whose definition of balance?