MEP Girling slams adopted EP report on poverty as 'well-meaning but naïve' - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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MEP Girling slams adopted EP report on poverty as 'well-meaning but naïve'

Tuesday, 15 November 2011
MEPs voting in Strasbourg (Photo: AP/BBC News)South West MEP Julie Girling and her Conservative colleagues have reacted angrily to a motion for resolution adopted today by show of hands by MEPs in Strasbourg that calls for the possibility of creating a legally-enforceable Europe-wide minimum income be investigated and for poverty to become classified as a 'violation' of human rights.

Mrs Girling, who is the Conservative MEPs' spokeswoman on employment and social affairs, joined her ECR colleagues in voting against the motion put forward by Belgian Socialist MEP Frédéric Daerden and described it as "well-meaning but naïve".

The Daerden report (A7-0370/2011) calls on the EU to create a regular, critical evaluation-mechanism to judge each member state's "progress in reducing poverty and social exclusion", and produce an annual report on how all the EU countries are measuring up.

In addition, it calls for extra spending on state benefits across Europe for people with long-term illness or disability, for single parents and for families with 'many' children, and even for a convention on poverty and social exclusion - lasting at least a week - to take place every year in different venues across Europe.

In a press release following the vote, Mrs Girling attacked the motion's ambitions by stating: "you can't create prosperity by wishful thinking."

"Nobody denies that poverty is a real and pressing problem. But poverty has nothing to do with human rights and everything to do with lack of opportunity and incentive to work productively," she said.

"These are the factors we must target. That is how wealth is created across society, and how the disadvantaged can best be lifted out of poverty […] This motion not only interferes with matters that should be tackled at national level but puts forward proposals which would actually make nations poorer, not better-off. To think otherwise is well-meaning but naive."

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