“It is simply unacceptable to see such levels of severe poverty in our country in the 21st century. Governments of all stripes have failed to protect people at the bottom of the income scale from the effects of severe poverty, leaving many unable to feed, clothe or house themselves and their families.”
Julia Unwin, chief executive of JRF
I wrote most of this last May but from the look of things nothing has improved and in fact is likely to get worse concerning poverty. Frankly there are times when I wonder is it worth writing about any of the awful circumstances that prevail in the UK, however with the events of this year, namely the disastrous outcome of Brexit and even more disastrous election of Donald Trump, about which I will have plenty to say another time, issues such as poverty, welfare reforms, including the injustices of the treatment of the disabled and benefit sanctions, seem to have faded into the back ground and rarely reported in the main stream media. So it is perhaps worthwhile to mention these injustices even if such reminders are seen by relatively few people.
We must never forget that poverty is a reality here in the UK
From a group of ten children as many as four or five will be living in poverty
The author of the article below describes the situation as a “… loss of empathy taking hold of this country “
A generation of UK children will suffer in poverty. Suddenly that’s normal
“Nearly half of children are now living in poverty in some parts of the UK, research by the End Child Poverty coalition has found. It’s worth pausing on that. In an era of rising rents, low wages and benefit freezes and cuts, go to a playground in many areas of this country – think Birmingham, Manchester, or London – and out of a group of 10 boys and girls, four or five of them will be in poverty.”
“Nothing has got better – in fact, the number of children living in poverty increased by 200,000 over the past year – and the truth is, things are only going to get worse. The UK is set for the biggest increase in child poverty in a generation, with the Institute for Fiscal Studies projecting that relative child poverty will rise by a staggering 50% by 2020.”
“We mourn a loss of empathy taking hold of this country – and watch this week, as the world appeared to get a little darker. The attitude to child poverty is now part of it. No politician stands up and claims to be for child poverty. No voter is pro-hungry 7-year-olds or shivering newborn babies.”
Here in the sixth richest country in the world there are thousands of people who do not have enough food to eat or the money to keep warm and dry.
Why you might ask?
The simple answer is the government does not care, not only does it not care it has intentionally caused poverty to increase as a result of its polices of greed which serve the rich at the expense of the poor. With the continuous cutting of benefits to the sick, disabled and the unemployed, the reduction of workers rights, the introduction of zero contracts and low wages it is no surprise that there are many many people living in misery and poverty.
During 1015 184,500 thousand households had to rely of charities for food, toiletries, cloths and shelter
“More than three-quarters of destitute people reported going without meals, while more than half were unable to heat their home. Destitution affected their mental health, left them socially isolated and prone to acute feelings of shame and humiliation.”
More than a million people in UK living in destitution, study shows
A third of the UK live below the poverty line
Third of UK population ‘fell below the poverty line’
Among the numbers of people living in destitution are sick and disabled people. No not just a small number often described as slipping though the cracks but thousands of disadvantaged suffering people, people too sick or disabled to work, people who have faced the full force of the government’s austerity measures in the form of vicious cuts to benefits.
Hundreds of thousands of disabled people in Britain destitute – report
“Hundreds of thousands of disabled people in Britain are forced to live in destitution and are unable to afford basic requirements such as food, shelter and clothing, the UK’s first study examining extreme poverty suggests.”
Thousands of children are having their lives blighted by poverty both now and in the future
Here are some of their stories
Note the comment in the description which follows the video on You Tube:
“3.5 million children are growing up in poverty in the UK. It’s one of the worst rates in the industrialised world and successive governments continue to struggle to bring it into line. Struggling & without a voice, ‘Poor Kids’ shines a light on this pressing issue.”
Again the misconception that governments struggle to bring it into line
In reality the Tory government have added to the situation with benefits cuts and other austerities.
According to the UN the situation regarding inequality among children in the UK is now so bad that it is “behind some much poorer nations in achieving parity between rich and poor on health and educational outcomes, and warned over the likely impact of future welfare cuts.
The Unicef report, Fairness for Children, emphasised the importance of a strong welfare system in reducing inequality – and carried a strong suggestion that the Government should reconsider its cuts to benefits.
The UK ranked 25th out of 37 wealthy countries covered by the report – behind Poland, Romania and Slovenia – for its equality levels in children’s reading, maths and science skills at age 15.
Britain ‘lagging behind developed world’ on child poverty, Unicef report reveals
UNICEF reveals ‘depressing’ level of UK child poverty
“Britain has been criticised by the UN, after new research reveals it is lagging behind much poorer countries on reducing inequalities between rich and poor children.”
More than a million live in ‘extreme poverty’ in UK
“Study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation finds more than a million, including 300,000 children, live in destitution.”
One-Third Experienced Poverty In Four Years
“Surprising” poverty figures show the annual poverty rate in the UK was higher than in Lithuania, Spain and Poland in 2014.
How does this affect Children:
Poverty in the UK jeopardising children’s health, warns landmark report
‘Stark inequalities’ and high rates of child death, obesity and ill-health highlighted amid calls on government to prioritise child health
“Children living in the most deprived areas are much more likely to be in poor health, be overweight or obese, suffer from asthma, have poorly managed diabetes, experience mental health problems, and die early, the report shows.
“Poor health in infancy, childhood, and young adult life will ultimately mean poor adult health, and this in turn will mean a blighted life and poor economic productivity. The UK is one of the richest countries in the world; we can and must do better, for the sake for each individual, and that of the nation as a whole,”
What a shocking situation , here in the UK we live in a country where the choice of food is overwhelming yet out of reach for so many people. Why do we allow people to starve to death, go undernourished in this wealthy country were food is in abundance. It is shameful that we allow children and adults too of course in so-called developing countries to starve, to be without clean water, life saving medication, adequate shelter and a full and meaningful life but when it takes place in a country that has more than enough to feed its population and even throws tons of food away it seems even a more shocking, abusive crime again humanity. By means of benefit cuts, sanctions, low wages the government has deliberately caused the poverty, deprivation and even starvation of vulnerable people who have no means of changing their situation. It’s not about the failure to protect people against poverty, it’s about dismantling the welfare system, abandoning people to a life of deprivation until our towns and cities become filled with homeless destitute people including children. We are supposed to be a developed country yet here we are regressing to a time long forgotten when children roamed the street homeless destitute as where the children in the photograph below of Edwardian England
There were children living with their families in these desperate situations but there were also numerous, homeless, destitute children living on the streets of London.
It does appear that many people and various agencies were becoming aware of the problem, but the sheer scale of it must have seemed overwhelming.
One of the difficulties in dealing with it were contemporary attitudes:
‘the poor were improvident, they wasted any money they had on drink and gambling’;
No one should starve in this world of plenty here in the UK or elsewhere. The reason it is happening here is as a result of vile right wing policies that favour the rich and powerful, polices that consider that the reason for existence and the meaning of success is to accrue vast wealth even if it is at the expense of others. A Sad sick society we have become as we turn our backs on our fellow citizens.
Watch the videos below and also check out the new film which made critics at the Cannes film festival cry: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfilms/film/i_daniel_blake
and write to you MP and state your outrage – please be polite.
Contact your MP:
Or write to the PM:
Contact Teresa May:
If you have any doubt concerning the situation in the UK regarding hunger please watch the following videos
“Hungry Britain? First shown 03/03/14
Panorama’s Darragh MacIntyre investigates the dramatic rise in the number of food banks in Britain”
“A part of Dispatches collection, Breadline Kids asks daring questions about food poverty in the UK, asking children what it’s like to live when the cupboards are bare, and what desperate measures parents go to feed their kids. “
UK: Gap in life expectancy between rich and poor widens for first time since 1870
“The gap in life expectancy between the rich and the poorest in the UK has increased for the first time since the 1870s.
A recent report by the Cass Business School (part of London’s City University) and the International Longevity Centre-UK shows that after a long period in which the effect of social inequality on life expectancy had fallen, this trend has been thrown into reverse. While the population as a whole has a longer life expectancy, the extent to which people have benefited from this is highly dependent on their social class.”