Always Interesting What The BBC Chooses to Highlight


Poverty (relative of course) is almost at a record low.

Living standards have been declining since 2003…not since 2010.

Fewer working adults were in poverty in 2011/12 than in 2008/09 under Labour.

Child poverty is lowest for 25 years.

Pensioner poverty at lowest in decades.




Funny…none of those are the attention grabbing headline message from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the BBC.

The BBC of course chose a headline that, by coincidence I’m sure, parallels the Labour line on living standards.

Most people classed as being in poverty ‘have job’


But the reason for the ‘rise’ in poverty amongst working people is in fact a good one…pensioners are being  taken out of poverty….it isn’t that more working people are in poverty…because as said, there are fewer in poverty in 2011/12 than in 2008/09….yet more good news…no?

That rather important fact isn’t relayed to us by the BBC…which totally alters the way things can be perceived.


Way, way down in a BBC article on a Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on poverty comes this:

The overall poverty rate in the UK expressed as a proportion of the population was 21% – the second lowest since reliable official statistics began to be collected in the mid-1990s


What?  The poverty rate is the 2nd lowest on record? Why would the BBC try to bury that good news?

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the New Policy Institute which produced this report are both progressive, campaigning organisations…something that the BBC should mention and then reflect in the way it reports the ‘facts’….but it doesn’t…instead jumping on board that progressive bandwagon and producing a highly misleading interpretation of that report.


The BBC eventually also reports this…child poverty was at its lowest level for 25 years.’but again half way down the page and only a passing mention.

If child poverty had been up you can guarantee it would have been the headline.

or this: the number of pensioners living in poverty had fallen to its lowest level in decades.’

Again not a headline.


and there’s this from the JRF...

Incomes for the poorest 10% have been falling for much longer, since 2004/05.

So that confirms what Rafael Behr said in the New Statesman…that the ‘Living standards crisis’ began under Labour a decade ago.

or as the report itself admits:

What is noticeable about in-work poverty is how it began to rise around 2003/04,after being fairly static for the previous five or so years.



The Sunday Times reports that (In a massive headline):

Child Poverty is at lowest for 25 years

From the JRF itself:

Between 2007/08 and 2011/12, the number of children in poverty on the relative measure fell by around 500,000.




And yet the BBC highlight something else completely…a Labour narrative once again…


Most people classed as being in poverty ‘have job’

More working households were living in poverty in the UK last year than non-working ones – for the first time, a charity has reported.

Just over half of the 13 million people in poverty – surviving on less than 60% of the national median (middle) income – were from working families, it said.


But why has that happened?  What has made the difference in proportions?

One reason is that pensioners, obviously ‘out of work’, are statistically rising out of poverty, therefore ‘increasing’ the proportion of those who are  in work but who are in poverty relative to those out of work:

From the JRF:

The fall in poverty among those in workless and retired families is obviously related to the fall in pensioner poverty.


Kind of alters the perception of things….the BBC vaguely notes the connection in a side panel…‘The proportions of poor people have also been affected by the rapidly reducing rates of pensioner poverty.’…..but it is a crucial fact that undermines the whole thrust of the article and should be highlighted.


And just how many working adults are in low pay?




The BBC tells us….the number of working poor has steadily been rising for years.

But hang on….the report tells us that there are 3,060,000 working adults in poverty in 20011/12…..but in 2008/09 there were 3,500,000 working adults in poverty.


So there were more working adults in poverty in 2008/09 than 20011/12…and yet we’re told there are more in poverty now.


Hardly fits with Labour’s narrative of the poverty stricken poor under the Coalition.

More were in poverty under Labour.



It’s a curious concept being marketed here…the government, and the Public, expect people to work for a living if possible…Labour and the JRF  seem to think otherwise….life on the dole pays better……….because having a job doesn’t lift you out of poverty, relative poverty that is, then perhaps you shouldn’t bother working….from Peter Kenway, the author of the report:

It suits politicians of all parties to claim that work is the route out of poverty. Such a message wraps a snarling toughness directed at workless adults inside a saccharine justification: you must work for the sake of your kids.’

And Julia Unwin from the JRF tells us that:

‘Hardwork is not working’

The BBC joins in too:

Get a job has long been the mantra of ministers….And while work is the best way out poverty, it’s no longer a guarantee, it seems.


Actually the message is you must work to earn a living, and not just take from those who do work.





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8 Responses to Always Interesting What The BBC Chooses to Highlight

  1. David Kay says:

    the marxists at al beeb, with their 6 and 7 figure pay packets, want to do their best to talk this country into economic doom and gloom just so they cant get one over on the Tories.

    Socialism, and by definition the BBC, should be banned


  2. Span Ows says:

    Firstly all those ‘non headlines’ you mention are very good news (I hadn’t read them yet).

    Secondly, I suspect they are worrying for the Labour party and their cost of living crisis mantra trumpeted ad nauseum by the BBC,

    Thirdly, BBC…biased, plus ça change.


  3. chrisH says:

    Did I hear Professor Green from the Studiz Institeute say on the radio that it was a “weak employment market”.
    “No matter what “we once told you-now “what we believe today is true”…well for today, it`s written in chalk actually
    (With apologies to Stephen Gately)


  4. Beeboidal says:

    There was an item about this report on the BBC One Ten O’Clock News. It was all about this

    Most people classed as being in poverty ‘have job’

    and never mentioned these

    Poverty (relative of course) is almost at a record low.

    Living standards have been declining since 2003…not since 2010.

    Fewer working adults were in poverty in 2011/12 than in 2008/09 under Labour.

    Child poverty is lowest for 25 years.

    Pensioner poverty at lowest in decades.


  5. Oldbob says:

    They have just presented this disengenous “poverty” story just now on the ten o clock news, leaving the viewers in no doubt that a life on benefits is better than working for low wages and that the heartless torys don’t care.The report was also bolstered by the usual vist to the local food bank! This world class piece of journalism followed the usual Mandela fest and a piece on the Ukrainian freedom fighters who want to join the EU.

    Completely biased left wing shite and of no particular interest to the majority of the British public.


  6. Philip says:

    In BBC land everybody gets a non-discriminate job working in a equal rights Panto factory. Christmas rebranded as BBC ‘Winterfest’, will now be based on a ‘poor man called Flowers’: Whilst working late at the co-op counting his crystal meths deposits, one day he suddenly awakes to find he has lost all the banks money and his dodgy reputation. Luckily the BBC needs a new leftie ‘unfunny’ Panto star to replace the rude fairy with something more progressive (suitable for unfunny BBC light entertainment), it seems an obvious choice, it ticks all the (left) BBC executive boxes and is the ideal BBC role-model (dressed in a redcoat and beard) an ideal Panto star, better than all previous BBC radio comedies (this year).


  7. lojolondon says:

    I HATE the phrase ‘child poverty’. Children are children. If their parents are poor, that makes it tougher for children, but there is no such thing as rich or poor when you are pre-adolescent. All you need is to be warm and fed and no-one in the UK can say they can’t achieve that.


  8. Thoughtful says:

    And now with the Autumn statement Gideon has made work even less attractive !

    ‘Universal Credit system being introduced will save the Treasury £600 million, with most of the savings coming from a reduction in work allowances – the amount of money a claimant can keep before their benefits begin to be withdrawn.’

    it will mean a single parent household will be up to £420 per year worse off, while a couple with children face losing £230 a year.

    I don’t think it’s fair & reasonable to blame claimants for seeking to maximise their incomes, when the government is making it so obvious that low paid jobs are reserved for EU migrants.