Church in Wales and Oxfam challenge poverty myths

The Church in Wales and Oxfam Cymru have launched a report debunking six myths about people in poverty.

PA

According to the report, people in poverty are widely misrepresented as:

· lazy and unwilling to work
· addicted to drink and drugs
· not really poor – they just don't manage their money properly
· being on the fiddle
· having an easy life
· causing the deficit

The 'Truth and Lies About Poverty' report was launched today in Cardiff.

Speaking at the launch, the Archbishop of Wales Dr Morgan called upon people to "stand up for what is right" and defend people in poverty against accusations of being skivers.

"We are all members of one community," he said. " We must speak out against the rumours, misrepresentations and prejudice that undermine our solidarity with one another."

The report was originally published by an alliance of churches called the Joint Public Issues Team. The new document has been translated in Welsh for the first time and there is a bilingual summary available.

Dr Morgan added: "This report brings together concern for the poor and concern for truth-telling, and reminds us that it is our duty as Christians and as members of society not just to offer practical help, but to stand up for what is right. Only when we have a true understanding of the realities of poverty can we even begin to tackle it and build a more just and successful society for all."

Julian Rosser, Head of Oxfam Cymru, said: "If you relied on Government ministers and certain tabloids for information, you'd think that if people just pulled their socks up and worked hard, there would be no such thing as poverty.

"The reality is that there are just not enough jobs out there, benefits are under siege from sanctioning and even being in work is no defence against poverty as wages lag behind inflation and zero-hours and short term contracts are on the increase."

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