Since it got into power in 2010 the Tory Party has pursued a policy of making the people of the UK pay for the excesses of the few at the top. This policy has led to an unprecedented rise in poverty in this, the sixth richest country in the world. Evidence of this rising poverty was shown when Oxfam started to collect from around the world to support the poor of the UK. Perhaps the outstanding evidence of what the Tories have done to the working classes of the |UK is the number of foodbanks now scattered across the length and breadth of the country. Make no mistake these nasty Tory policies were voted for by Theresa May and they will continue to be supported by her government.
In the UK today there are 13 million people living below the poverty line, That’s one in four people in this country below a level of personal or family income which one is classified as poor according to governmental standards —called also poverty level. This number of people living in poverty includes 3.9 million children . Poverty affects one in four children in the UK today. When kids grow up poor they miss out – and so do the rest of us. They miss out on the things most children take for granted: warm clothes, school trips, having friends over for tea. They do less well at school and earn less as adults. The number of children in absolute poverty has increased by half a million since 2010. This occurred under the coalition government of David Cameron’s Tories and Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats.
Child poverty blights childhoods. Growing up in poverty means being cold, going hungry, not being able to join in activities with friends. For example, 60 per cent of families in the bottom income quintile would like, but cannot afford, to take their children on holiday for one week a year.
Poverty is also related to more complicated health histories over the course of a lifetime, again influencing earnings as well as the overall quality – and indeed length – of life. Men in the most deprived areas of England have a life expectancy 9.2 years shorter than men in the least deprived areas. They also spend 14% less of their life in good health. Women share similar statistics.
Food bank usage has continued to rise for another year, according to figures from the country’s biggest provider, as new data revealed that hunger is most common in areas with high levels of disability and long-term illness. Overall 1,109,309 emergency food packages were distributed by the Trussell Trust in 2015-16 – up slightly from last year. The charity, Britain’s leading food bank provider, said the figure was “one million too many” and urged the Government and the public not to accept the levels of food poverty in the UK as “the new normal”. A separate report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hunger, published today, estimates that more than half of the emergency food aid supplied in the UK comes from independent food banks and other organisations not covered by the Trussell Trust’s figures – indicating that the true scale of hunger in the UK could be far greater. Food poverty in Britain is set many feel to worsen in the coming years. A spokesperson for the Trussel Trust has said “We have to face the reality that what we are seeing now is just the beginning, The measure must be that when things go wrong, we fast-track putting them right. But we have a Government department that tolerates without shame situations where people have no access to financial support for months on end at times.”
A record number of Britons are now using foodbanks, new analysis has revealed, with many of their customers being skilled workers or disabled people unable to hold down a job. Foodbank use in the UK rose 2% last year to a new high, according to the latest figures from The Trussell Trust, which show that it has handed out over a million three-day emergency food supplies since April 2015. Data mapping from the University of Hull also suggests that foodbanks are used most in areas where people are in skilled manual work – meaning they are are likely to have studied at college, university or technical school – or are unable to work due to a long-term illness or disability. Benefit delays were the biggest reason for needing a foodbank, but low income follows shortly after that, challenging the idea that people who use foodbanks are all ‘work-shy’ or ‘scroungers’.
In a statement, a Government spokesman said: “Britain has a proud tradition of volunteering and of civil society and faith groups providing support to vulnerable people and this Government welcomes that. FFS do these people have any humanity. For six years the Tories have overseen the increase in poverty whilst ensuring that the top 10% get richer and richer. Wealth in Great Britain is polarized between the haves and the rest of society. The richest 10% of households hold 45% of all wealth, that’s 5 million people. The poorest 50% that’s 25 million people, by contrast, own just 8.7%. Compared to other developed countries the UK has a very unequal distribution of income. Out of the 30 OECD countries in the LIS data set, the UK is the joint sixth most unequal, and within this data set it is the third most unequal in Europe.
Below are two short videos on the effects of Tory policy since 2010 and the rise in foodbanks.
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