CHILD poverty was created by Lionel Bart for the 1968 musical Oliver!, the work and pensions secretary has claimed.
Following the scrapping of child poverty yesterday, Iain Duncan Smith explained that any children seen wandering the streets in ragged trousers were merely lost extras who had wandered off-set.
He continued: “This captivating musical has cast such a spell over the British public that they fondly imagine they see child poverty in the streets, in alleyways and even in their own homes.
“These are merely flashbacks to that memorable musical and no more real than the outrageous fantasias of The Rocky Horror Show and Starlight Express.
“Also, those were not children but highly-paid dwarves who make £200,000 each every pantomime season, who deserve not a penny of your hard-earned money.”
When informed that Oliver! was based on a Charles Dickens novel about the harsh lives of the urban poor in Victorian London, IDS replied that there was no such writer and no such place.