Thursday, 9 June 2011

Poor Kids'

There are 3.9 million children that live in poverty in Britain today, that’s almost a third of all our children; and I have to say this is set to get much worse as we are forced to roll along the austerity rocky road set-out by the government of the very rich. 

Poverty is the single greatest threat to the well-being of children and families. Growing up in poverty can affect every area of a child's development - social, educational and personal. Yesterday on the BBC iPlayer I viewed two very interesting programmes, the first of which was a documentary about the wide spread incidence of child poverty in Britain today, the second was about the governments strong arming the unemployed into work with the so-called new welfare revolution, which they say is about getting people off benefits and into work - as if the unemployed were deliberately and intentionally avoiding taking up employment. Panorama visited the seaside resort of Rhyl in North Wales, in which some parts of the town, nearly half of the adult population are out of work, but the language being used and underlined was not those who are unemployed but those on benefits.

Two programmes sending out differing messages, and both produced by the BBC. Just glad that I don't pay for some of the crap they churn out these days. But to be fair the documentary 'Poor Kids' was really good; informative, factual and very moving.

Britain is one of the richest countries in the world and yet one of the most expensive to live in. Of course you would think that a country such as this would be free of poverty by now? However, almost one-quarter of the population lives in poverty - that's nearly 13 million people and climbing; this including and disgracefully, a third of all children. At the same time some of the richest people in the world live in Britain.

The documentary showed that children living in poverty are less likely to do well in their education, that they are subject to a degree of bullying from other better off children, that they're more likely to suffer health problems, with a lower life expectancy and low employment prospects. 

I was emotionality upset to listen to a young child tell the camera crew that sometimes she had no breakfast, and at other times went without diner when she was at home especially on the school holidays; she had never been on a holiday, but spent her time in school term breaks playing in derelict abandoned housing.

It is these children that are made to go without which has become a way of life for far to many; they go without essential items such as worm clothes and the three all important meals a day.

Just under ten million people can't afford safe, warm housing and have to live in cold damp conditions. And of course yesterday Scottish Power provoked howls of protests after announcing plans to raise gas prices by a lightning 19 per cent along with its electricity tariffs by of inflation busting 10 per cent. This I remind myself is the second rise (25% in all) in just over six months. Over the next few days, surely other suppliers will force up similar price hikes that will put annual bills up by £200 a year. I heard one expert say that that wholesale power prices are going up dew to the increased demand from Japan in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami last march, but the fact is that the poor the working poor can ill-afford such a hike.
The Cost
With food and the cost of living beginning to run away, the cuts and austerity - well things are going to take a turn for the worst, and it would not surprise me in the least if people started to say 'naught is being done for us, just why should we put up any longer with what the politics of politicians who promise and pronounce but in fact do nothing for us - and then see social unrest spread like a wild grass-fire.

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