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We want to create a "compassion threshold" below which no new piece of legislation would be allowed to fall. This would effectively mean that no government policy could push people into or closer to destitution and this right would also extend to future generations.
There are lots of reasons why we think this is important.
Firstly, because currently in the UK, unlike other nations, we do not have what is known as "socio-economic rights" - the right not to be in poverty or destitution. That has to change. The last ten years have seen the withering away of the social contract in the UK and we're going to bring it back.
Secondly, because the absence of those basic rights has had a severe impact on the lives of many British people. Homelessness has increased, inequality has grown, and poverty is rising. This is all happening in the 6th largest economy in the world.
Thirdly, because in one move we could re-orientate British politics towards a more compassionate future. Were this threshold to be introduced it would instantly mean that social and environmental justice has to be at the heart of decision-making.
We have worked on our proposal with a number of academics and organisations including Shelter, Equality Trust, and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative and held three workshops on the policy in Westminster. We will now be working with the newly launched All-Party Parliamentary Group for Compassionate Politics to lobby for the introduction of the threshold.
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