Armando Iannucci Compares UK To 'Dickens Novel' In Takedown Of Government's Response To Poverty

The Thick Of It creator accused the Tories of introducing policies to bring more people into hardship.
Armando Iannucci slammed the government on Sunday.
Armando Iannucci slammed the government on Sunday.

The satirist Armando Iannucci lashed out at the government yesterday and compared the UK to a “Dickens novel” amid rising poverty rates.

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, the writer claimed the government were just introducing policies which “put more people into poverty”.

Pointing out that only last week, a Department for Work and Pensions’ report found there’s been the sharpest increase in UK absolute poverty in 30 years, Iannucci said: “It’s almost like we’re in a Dickens novel, rather than the sixth biggest economy in the world.”

One of Iannucci’s films includes the The Personal History of David Copperfield, based on Charles Dickens’ book.

He noted that the report found there’s now 3.6 million children in poverty, meaning “for every average class of 30, nine are in poverty.”

Iannucci was speaking shortly after Jeremy Hunt’s appearance on the programme.

The chancellor had downplayed concerns about the UK’s sluggish economy, saying “the plan was starting to bear fruit” after a “very very tough patch”.

Iannucci – also a patron for Child Poverty Action Group – slammed this response, and pointed to the ongoing hardships people are facing.

He said:“Laying aside all the emotional, the psychological impact, poverty has on children – the shame, the embarrassment – the fact the kids are going to school pretending to have a packed lunch when they don’t have anything in their box, not having had any breakfast, on their way to school, tired and stressed...

“Lay aside all that, it actually helps the economy, the fewer people we have in poverty.

“Because it has the hugest impact on our other services, education, the children’s services, health, unfortunately, the legal system – the more people who are in depravation.

“So at the moment, we’re in a situation where we are actually put more people into poverty, and therefore having a greater impact and detriment to the economy because of it.”

Later on the programme, Iannucci said he stopped producing BBC satire The Thick Of It “when politicians liked it too much”.

He added: “Reality’s taken a bit of a knocking with so much fake stuff around that it’s about getting to the bottom of what people are actually saying and whether it actually stacks up.”


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