Poverty measures to focus less on poverty

The UK's poverty statistics are to be broadened to include aspects that have up to now been ignored, the government has announced.

"Under the last Labour government poverty was defined rather simplistically as not having enough money to buy the things that most of us take for granted," Work and Pensions Minister Iain Duncan Smith argues. "We take a more holistic approach, and want to empower the poor by focusing on lifestyle factors that they can control rather than things like poverty pay, exploitative employers and growing income inequality. Let's face it, none of us can control these things, least of all government ministers."

The government's new areas of focus will include factors such as family breakdown, substance abuse, living in social housing, voting Labour, travelling by public transport, talking "a bit common" and shopping at Asda. Other proposals, including labeling low income households as "pikey bastards" in official publications, renaming Universal Credit as "Beer tokens for the workshy and chronically indolent" and introducing a new offense of "Breeding while poor" are being explored by Civil Servants.

"The last thing we want to see in this country is an increase in child poverty," Mr Duncan Smith said. "And because we have stopped measuring it properly, we won't see it."