Something dreadful is steadily occurring across the face of Great Britain. We’re noticing the return of total levels of poverty which has not happened on this scale since the Victorial age over a century ago.
Relative poverty is when people can’t pay for the luxury and pleasures which nearly all people have, but complete poverty is when people haven’t the cash to pay for even their most fundamental requirements and, the proof is everywhere.
There are at the moment over 300 food banks in Great Britain and, the figures are soaring each week. The Red Cross is establishing centres to assist the poor, just as they do in developing nations.
Research published shows that even in thriving regions of the country like London, more than a quarter of its inhabitants are presently living in poverty.
In addition, a new alarming reality is steadily surfacing; a growing number of these poverty households are not contingent on benefits, but where someone is at work.
In the north the first of the Northern Housing Consortium’s surveys just published, presents a destructive picture. It’s based on 74 households, a tiny specimen but one which generally reflects all households living in the social rented sector.
It discloses that two thirds, after paying for rent and food and, other necessary bills, ends up each week with less than £10, whilst more than a third end up with nothing at all.
A quarter can only pay £20 or less on food per week, how many of the rest of us could sustain oneself on that? Four fifths of them are in financial debt and, small levels of financial debt.
Some of the responses from people are heartbreaking. The system is unsympathetic and, people work all their lives and, since work is so hard to obtain, people have to take anything that they can in order to make money to sustain oneself.
If a person was offered three days work, commencing the next day and, did those three days work and, then went to the jobcentre to inform them that they had been paid three days money, they would be fined for not telling them earlier, but of course that person couldn’t have told them sooner because the job was the next day and, there had not been enough time because they had to start so early in the morning.
If a person put a new claim in for benefits and, then received a further three days work it would jumble up all their benefits, and they would get fined each time.
They would have their money stopped, which would means that they would have to dispose and sell things that they had in all likelihood got while being employed just to pay for the bedroom tax and council tax and, eventually all the nice items that they received while working, they would have nothing left, so how can this be fair when all they’re doing is finding work in-between applying for benefits when they’re not in gainful employment.
What makes this so gratuitously brutal for the injured party is that it’s not even necessary. There is suffering that is being imposed on claimants to save the government money, yet the budget deficit is not diminishing.