These headlines are the predictable outcome of the publication of research from the supposedly independent think-tank, the Resolution Foundation, titled ‘Wrong Direction’ which suggests the SNP’s poverty targets, 12 years from now, will not be met. The research is based on determined, at times puzzling, negativity in the production of mere estimates by a researcher and a group strongly connected to the Lib Dems and the Tories and funded by proceeds from an insurance company accused of ‘sleazy’ practice where ‘pensioners are the losers.’
The report does go on to blame UK austerity for much of the projected increase but by then the title and the headline claims have fed the media with just what they want. The author is familiar with mediated politics and so must have known what would happen. Details below.
This is the report:
The key findings including the third, at which point BBC investigators stopped, drooling excitedly:
An early graph and comments caused this researcher to wonder what is going on here:
Maybe I’m being thick but at the last point when we have actual data, 2015-2016, poverty had fallen to 23% and quite steeply too from 27%. From that point on, they predict an almost 90 degree turn upward, based on their estimates, predictions, guesses. Remind me, are economists known for their ability to predict the future? Howe did they do with the crash in 2008? How, on earth, can they be so sure that current and future devolved powers will not continue to eat away at poverty? Did they consider the possible transformation in control of the economy which might result from gaining independence or is that not in their mindset to imagine? Is that because they are aligned with the worldview at the softer end of Conservatism but still, crucially, wedded to the Union? Let’s find out. First who is the author and where has he been:
Centre Forum, remember them for later but we all know what ‘centre’ means in UK politics – Blair, Cameron, neoliberal economics. Adam, we see below, has no problem associating with, writing for, Tories:
The think tank, Centre Reform, was founded in 1998 and became Centre Forum in 2005. In 2016 it became the Education Policy Institute, headed up by David Laws. Remember him?
That’s nice, a Lib Dem popular with the Tories. Let’s get him to lead an independent think-tank. Adam has moved to the Resolution Foundation. Who are they? Here’s their Executive Chair:
They made 1.5 billion in donations in 2017 but no details of the sources are published.
‘The largest single donation was £60.75m which went to the Gatsby Charitable Foundation from Lord Sainsbury, followed by £42.88m from Sir Clive Cowdery to the Resolution Foundation’.
What does Cowdery do?
‘Clive Cowdery made his fortune selling on ‘zombie’ insurance funds. Now the entrepreneur is targeting distressed financial companies.’
‘The whole business of buying up ‘zombie’ insurance funds, refurbishing them and selling them on for vast profits is sleazy enough and a better regulator than the Financial Services Authority should never have allowed this to happen. In fact, it ought to be far more cautious about the similar game being played with pension funds. The real losers in both these cases are the policyholders and the pensioners whose life savings are passed around like junk at a car boot sale.’
Well, I’m reassured now.