London City Council’s hypocritical approach to reducing poverty

Lee Friday – April 25, 2017

According to the London Free Press (April 20, 2017), City Council has decided to use taxpayers’ money to fund various neighbourhood projects this year, including:

  • an outdoor ping pong table in a central park
  • a party and chalk festival in Westmount
  • a cider press for the Wood St. Food Forest and harvest party
  • community gatherings, including concerts and barbecues, across the city

The City is taking $80,000 out of the pockets of hard-working Londoners in order to help fund these and other projects. This extravagance contradicts Council’s professed goal of reducing poverty and its effects in the City of London.

How, in good conscience, can City Council spend money on the projects listed above, while those living in poverty go without? Are these projects more worthy of our attention than new shoes, better food, and affordable housing for the needy? It truly boggles the mind. The manner in which council sets its priorities defies logic.

Politicians arbitrarily decide how much they will tax us, then arbitrarily decide how they will spend our money. We have no say in the matter. The government pretends it can be all things to all people – and while a few squeaky wheels get the grease, the rest of us get fleeced. No wonder people do not trust politicians. No wonder voter turnout is low on election day.

To be clear, I am opposed to the use of tax dollars to ‘fight poverty’ by any level of government. Such measures tend to be ineffective and counterproductive (I have written about this here, with a particular focus on London City Council). However, the point is that City Council says it is committed to reducing poverty in London, and I feel compelled to point out their hypocrisy.

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