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Child poverty: women who don’t work are the cause

PUBLISHED: 15:59 05 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:45 05 October 2010

Dear Editor, WHY keep coming up with figures of high child poverty in Tower Hamlets without looking at the very obvious realities? An unending stream of marriage partners being brought in from one of the poorest countries in the world constantly dilutes social capital of skills and education, and imports poverty. The women brought in rarely work ever, mostly because they will not be allowed to or be expected to work

Dear Editor,

WHY keep coming up with figures of high child poverty in Tower Hamlets without looking at the very obvious realities? (East London Advertiser, October 23)

Firstly, an unending stream of marriage partners being brought in from one of the poorest countries in the world constantly dilutes social capital of skills and education, and imports poverty.

Secondly, the women brought into the country rarely work ever, not just through lack of skills including English, but culturally because they will not be allowed to or be expected to work.

Other women work because it raises their families' standard of living.

But most immigrant women take this opportunity. Those in Tower Hamlets do have the skills to cook in ethnic restaurants, yet they don't do it. In this sense, poverty is a 'cultural' choice.

Thirdly, anywhere in the world when women don't work or have work options the birthrate is high.

With other options, they have fewer children. With no change in work patterns and options, birth patterns in the Developing World are reproduced in Britain.

Large families are generally associated with poverty, especially when one adult is not working.

When women did have large families in the East End many years ago, through lack of control over their lives and contraception access, they usually did work too.

There is now an opportunity to change the pattern, with restaurant work.

But the Government's Migration Advisory committee has caved in to heavy lobbying against this on 'cultural' grounds and instead allow continued immigration of cheap migrant labour.

This costs British society in social services, housing and health care, and pensions, as those workers then bring in non-working marriage partners and the poverty cycle continues.

May Thomas

Bigland Street, Shadwell


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