UK Government Subsidise the Super Rich While Children Scavenge in Waste Bins

While millionaires here in the UK receive subsidies to shoot grouse poor children forage through garbage bins for food

It is a scandal that the UK government subsidises gun licenses to the tune of £17 million while cutting benefits to sick and disabled people and the unemployed.

As a result of the coalition’s draconian welfare reforms millions have been plunged into poverty. Since the present government weren’t elected in 2010 nearly a million people have been forced to use food banks and millions have seen their incomes reduced  to well below the poverty line.  Low wages, high rents and unaffordable homes  have pushed hundreds of thousands more people into extreme poverty. I have used the word extreme rather than absolute poverty. The classification of absolute poverty  refers to a set standard which is the same in all countries and which does not change over time. An income-related example would be living on less than $X per day, typically $1 or $2 per day. This normally would not apply here in the UK where the category relative poverty is used. However when people receive no income as a result of benefit sanctions as has been the case surely than the term absolute poverty applies for the person is not even receiving the equivalent of a $1 per day!

For an explanation concerning the terms absolute and relative poverty click this link:

While reducing and even stopping the incomes of seriously sick and disabled people and sanctioning job seekers, including disabled people in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance, for as long as three years with zero benefits in some cases, Cameron has refused to increase the cost of a gun licence, which at present stands at just £50. It costs the police £196 to conduct the background checks in order for these gun touting well-heeled sociopaths to run amok in the countryside shooting defenceless animals such as grouse, partridges, rabbits and hares. It seems that in addition to allowing and even condoning the primitive barbarity of murdering defenceless creatures for pleasure there is the added immorality of subsidizing this pursuit at the expensive of tax payers while leaving poor people to starve to death – yes that’s right people here in the UK have starved to death from want of food as a result of benefit cuts and sanctions.

To further outrage those of us with a sense of social justice, it should be noted that while thousands are driven from their homes as a result of government cuts, including the bedroom tax, the government has announced it would raise the subsidy it provides for the so called management of grouse moors from £30 per hectare to £56. The super rich own most of this land, the 1% of the 1% – remember grouse hunting is the perverted pass-time of the extremely rich.

“While the poor are being forced out of their homes through government cuts, it is raising the payments – across hundreds of thousands of hectares – that some owners use to burn and cut the land (helping to cause floods downstream), shoot or poison hen harriers and other predators, and scar the hills with roads and shooting butts.

While the rest of us can go to the devil, the interests of the very rich are ringfenced.

So back we go to the hazy days of Edwardian England: a society dominated by rentiers, in which the city centres are set aside for those with tremendous wealth and the countryside is reserved for their bloodsports. As the queues lengthen at the foodbanks, our money is used to subsidise grouse and shotguns. That is all you need to know about how and by whom we are governed”

Read more, this is an excellent article which I cited in a previous post and which I want to draw more attention:

This cash for grouse scandal shows how Britain has become a plutocrats’ paradise
We subsidise the landed gentry and their shotguns. While the poor are plunged into brutal insecurity, the rich are untroubled

Read about the environmental damage and the harm to wildlife this land management causes in order for the wealthy to indulge in this sick pleasure. – this document explains Animal Aid’s investigation into the public subsidies paid to millionaire grouse shoot owners. Grouse shooting is a pursuit staged and undertaken by  some of the wealthiest individuals in the land – Bankers, government ministers, landowners, heads of industry and royalty. These people hardly need the subsidies do they.

What’s the difference between a subsidy payout and a benefit payout – subsidies are free handouts while benefits are an entitlement, insurance payments received upon making a claim. National insurance as the name implies is simply a state insurance into which millions of people have paid, and those who claim are simply making an insurance claim. In most cases it is not a handout. Yes of course not everyone has paid into this scheme but we are supposed to be a civilised country or at least we were until the last few years, and payments therefore should be made to those unfortunate to have not been able to make a contribution, such as those born with a disability that prevents them from working. Reasonable surely?


If you’re an average tax payer, most likely not earning a living wage, your hard-earned money is used to subsidise the priviledged in our society, the vastly wealthy,  while poor people struggle to keep a roof over their heads and provide food for their children.

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While the above poster is a parody one has to wonder if in the not too distant future we will indeed be seeing people without shoes. Though the very idea may be difficult to envision, who would have thought that in twenty-first century Britain children would be foraging in waste bins and people would die of hunger.

Credit Poster:

Flickr user Byzantine_K
Larger sizes available under a creative commons license.

Related Links

Sanctions against those on sickness benefit up 350 per cent in Government crackdown

Welfare Reform? No such thing. Cuts and “reforms”…

Starving British children are looking for food in rubbish bins



Poverty in the UK

The UK is the world’s six largest economy, yet 1 in 5 of the UK population live below our official poverty line, meaning that they experience life as a daily struggle.

Oxfam as a vision of everyone in the UK having enough to live on, and of all men, women and children being treated with respect and dignity no matter how much money they have. We believe it is unacceptable that over 13 million people in the UK do not have enough to live on, and most do not have the power to speak out about what this feels like and why it is wrong.


Sick and disabled suffer due to benefit sanctions

Thousands of sick, disabled and unemployed Scots are being left in poverty as their benefit payments are stopped – according to Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).

Based on real case evidence, CAS shows in its latest report Sanctioned: what benefit? that many people hit by benefit sanctions are forced into poverty and ill health, often having to rely on foodbanks. The report also reveals that many who are hit by a sanction are not told the reason for it or how to appeal against it.

Read more at :

Poorest and the Youngest Suffer as Poverty Rises and Living Standards Tumble

Responding to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report on living standards, poverty and inequality in the UK, which was funded by JRF, Head of Poverty Research Chris Goulden said:

“This research provides further proof that a shortage of affordable homes and the high cost of renting or buying a home is pushing hundreds of thousands more people into absolute poverty: 600,000 more people have found out what life is like below the poverty line after paying their housing costs. – I have to say the statement “Pensioners… face relatively favourable conditions” is in my opinion rather misleading, those on a basic state pension of  £113.10 a week  –  that’s just over £5,880 per anum! with pension credit brings it to £148.35 a week for a single person – surely must be struggling. Also I cannot understand the constant validation of the financal crisis excuse with statements such as, “Even at a time where resources are limited, measures can be taken to reduce the hardship now facing almost a quarter of households.”,  surely by now it is obvious that the government have intentionally reduced people to a state of poverty and have no intention of doing anything to rectify this intolerable situation. The UK is a wealthy country, if it can afford to give handouts to millionaire grouse shooters it can provide benefit payments for a decent standard of living to the most vulnerable in our society.






4 thoughts on “UK Government Subsidise the Super Rich While Children Scavenge in Waste Bins

  1. Really enjoyed reading your blog, particularly like the way that you use a very inclusive conception of ‘life’. Positive that you link the devaluation of and also violence towards environment, animals and humans – these are important links which are not often highlighted.

    • Thank you for reading my blog and for taking the time to include your interesting and encouraging comment. Indeed the environment, animals and humans are intercontected, each import to the well-being of the whole, each as important as the other.

  2. Issues around benefits are very interconnected with animal welfare, for example domestic pets have been suffering as a result of welfare reform, as this article notes, animal sanctuaries are overflowing with animals that people are not able to feed in fact in some areas the RSPCA have set up foodbanks specifically for supporting domestic pets …. humans, animals and environment all effectively treated as ‘collateral damage’ of austerity measures …. depressing

    • Thank your for your interesting and informative comment and for the links. Yes most certainly welfare reforms have caused suffering to pets and are an animal welfare issue. This is something not generally considered but should be more emphasised. Yes you are most certainly correct that both people and animals are considered nothing more than ‘collateral damage’ instead of people and their pets who are suffering as a result of these shameful reforms. In addition to not being able to feed pets there are of course vet bills which are huge and a struggle for most of us even at the best of times.

      Thank you for pointing this out as it highlights the far reaching consequences of government welfare reforms. Indeed depressing, very depressing.

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