Poverty & The Trouble It Breeds

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‘How do you think the financial situation of your household will change over the next 12 months? 19% thought better, 32% worse’

– You Gov/ Sunday Times Statistics

Here are some more statistics:-

  • Parents with disabilities often face multiple barriers to work; children with disabilities place additional demands on the family.
  • In 2009/10, families with at least one disabled member were 30 per cent more likely to live in poverty than families without disabilities.

Now these statistics are a depressing enough read, but not for the government it would seem, they intend to abolish the Independent Living Fund alongside having reintroduced the work capability assessment via Maximus. ATOS are long gone it would seem, having been induced by the government to ‘exit its WCA contract early.’ The Work Capability Assessments are still in place however, courtesy of the government’s ‘Welfare Reforms Program’ (which don’t forget, Labour endorsed when it voted in favour of the OBR).

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Well, how about some more statistics:-

  • Certain ethnic minorities are also more likely to live in poverty.
  • As with people with disabilities, discrimination in the workplace clearly plays a role in depressing incomes.
  •  In 2009/10, people from ethnic minorities were 64 per cent more likely to live in poverty than average.

This is hardly news if you live in the inner cities where sadly, a lot of landlords consider it reasonable practice to stuff their houses (and garden sheds) full of legal immigrants on minimum wages. These unfortunate workers have no intention of living long term in their designated ‘rabbit’s hutches’ but with ‘discrimination in the workplace’ being what it is….But wait! Hold on for a minute! Did not the most esteemed Trevor Phillips state,

‘race relations have improved in the last 15 years…..we should no longer use the phrase “institutionally racist” to describe companies and public services.’

– Quote from The Most Esteemed Trevor Phillips 

Right, according to that quoted assertion, race relations have significantly improved, so that now only 64% of ethnic minorities find themselves more likely to live in poverty than the average. That’s quite some improvement, for people struggling to make ends meet in neighbourhoods with closed Sure Start Centres, youth clubs and libraries. People who simply don’t have the money to send their children on school field trips, or skiing holidays in prep school surroundings (Eton-Style). People who honestly can’t afford those (once council funded) music lessons.

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You may not ever find yourself in adequately paid employment but be of good cheer! Race relations have improved! A former Labour party approved appointee (whose skills were said by one former member of the Equalities & Human Rights Commission to have come at too great a cost) said so! Incidentally, the EHRC used to be called the Commission for Racial Equality under Sir Herman Ouseley, a principled, combative soul, who now chairs the anti-racism ‘Kick It Out’ football campaign. Under Sir Ouseley the Commission for Racial Equality did its job, it addressed race discrimination and promoted equality. During Blair’s administration that changed, ah well onwards & upwards with the stats!

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  • Only 48 per cent of 5 year olds entitled to free school meals have a good level of development at the end of their reception year, compared to 67 per cent of all other pupils.
  • Less than half of pupils entitled to free school meals (just 36 per cent) achieve 5 GCSEs at C or above, including English and Maths, this compares to 63 per cent of pupils who are not eligible..
  • 1.6 million children are growing up in homes which are too cold

All these statistics make one thing glaringly obvious, as a country we need real change at in government, the kind of change that resonates social justice leading to a society that espouses prosperity for all, not just for some. Yet according to the Barnardo’s Charity,

‘It is predicated that by 2020/21  another 1 million children will be pushed into poverty as a result of the Coalition Government’s policies.’

What is worse, the Labour Party has endorsed those policies and intends to carry them out, to the letter, if they attain government. Anybody get the feeling that we’re being conned?

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