Potter author ‘gets’ the poor


JK ROWLING has hit out a politicians for not understanding levels of poverty.

The Harry Potter author, who is worth £560 million, said that even “a tenner a week” can make all the difference to some families.

She also accused officials of recalling their own unrelated experiences to justify their actions.

JK Rowling says not enough is known about poor people's circumstances


Rowling, who is the world’s wealthiest writer, was a rags to riches tale herself claiming benefits as a single mum while she penned the first ideas for the wizarding world of Hogwarts.

She said: “The poor are discussed as this homogeneous mash, like porridge. The idea that they might be individuals and be where there are for very different reasons seems to escape some people.

“They talk about feckless teenage mothers looking for a council flat – what would your life be like if that’s the only possible path you can see for yourself?

“There has been a horribly familiar change of atmosphere. It feels a lot to me like it did in the early 90s where there’s been a redistribution of benefits and suddenly lone-parent families are that little bit worse off.

But it’s not ‘a little bit’ when you’re in that situation – even a tenner a week can make such a vast, vast difference.”

Rowling claims her new book The Casual Vacancy also covers similar issues relating to rural poverty.

She added: “Though I started writing this five years ago when we didn’t have a coalition government, it’s become more relevant as I’ve written it.

“So many people, certainly people who sit around the Cabinet table, say ‘Well it worked for me’ or ‘This is how my father managed it.

“These trite catchphrases and the idea that other people might have had such a different life experience, that their choices and beliefs and behaviours would be completely different from your own, seems to escape a lot of otherwise intelligent people.”

The Casual Vacancy is focused on the election of a parish councillor in a country community.

One of the book’s characters is Terri Weedon – a prostitute, heroin addict and abuse victim who is trying to stop social services taking her three-year-old into care.

Rowling’s latest work is due out on Thursday 27 September.