New collection of essays by Conservative MPs offers fresh ideas for tackling poverty across the UK

New collection of essays by Conservative MPs offers fresh ideas for tackling poverty across the UK

A new book published by the think-tank ResPublica and supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has collected and recommended a range of new policies advocated by Conservative MPs from across the parliamentary party, aimed at improving life for Britain’s least well-off.

The Right Response: Conservative Ideas to Tackle Perennial Poverty, which is launched on 24th May at an event in Parliament, offers recommendations across a range of policy areas, from expanding the apprenticeship system and improving job security, to helping families to save for the future and remain in stable relationships at home. The editors, the academic political theorist Dr Christopher Fear and the Director of ResPublica Phillip Blond, said:

‘While our view is that political theory has its place, we nevertheless share with the parliamentarian authors who have contributed to this volume the view that addressing the endemic and perennial cost of poverty and class in practice remains fundamental to any Conservative renewal. With that in mind, this volume presents essays by twelve serving Conservative MPs on the causes, realities, and effects of poverty in today’s Britain. Each chapter contains new ideas in specific policy areas that the authors (and we) believe should be considered and discussed as the “levelling up” mantra is developed into a concrete programme of practical Conservative government action.’

Policy recommendations in the essays include:

  • Government should fully fund apprenticeships for 16- to 18-year-olds, as it does A Levels;
  • App-based businesses can and should be made as accountable to their employees as traditional companies already are, in the context of the gig economy;
  • Increase spending and build the necessary occupational health infrastructure that reduces the chances of people falling out of work altogether if they suffer long-term injury or ill-heath;
  • Extend fiscal devolution and give local leaders the spending power they need, including the power to raise and invest funds locally;
  • Craft a ‘top-up’ scheme where citizens’ savings are topped-up by Government under certain conditions;
  • Local Authorities should receive 100% of Right to Buy receipts, and these receipts must be used to fund like-for-like tenure replacements;