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My New Year Wish... Helping the most vulnerable

(Alamy)

2 min read

After the drama and tumult of the last 12 months, what might 2023 have in store for us? Baroness Stroud sets out her wish for the new year ahead

My new year wish is that we build the sort of society that creates an enabling environment for all from vulnerable backgrounds. As we enter a new year, which will be the hardest in recent times for many families, it is now more important than ever that we fully understand the nature of poverty in the United Kingdom. 

Prioritising the most vulnerable should also be central to the reframing of asylum and refugee policy

When I was a special adviser at the Department for Work and Pensions, it struck me that our approach to those in poverty was deeply lacking. There was no consensus as to what poverty is, or how to measure it, and so it was difficult to develop a poverty strategy which actually improved the living standards and opportunities for the most vulnerable. 

Since leaving government, I have convened the Social Metrics Commission, which draws together practitioners, policy makers, business leaders and experts to develop a consensus measure of poverty which has support from across the political spectrum. If we want to support those facing poverty this winter, starting by adopting a measure like the one we have developed is a prerequisite for the creation of a strategy that will work. 

Prioritising the most vulnerable should also be central to the reframing of asylum and refugee policy. The asylum backlog has left hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers unable to integrate and is also a costly burden for the taxpayer. Taking steps to fast-track the clearance of the backlog will not only take many asylum seekers out of limbo, but also free up spaces in our hotels and help integrate the genuine refugees who are waiting for their claims to be heard.

 

Baroness Stroud, Conservative peer

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