Thursday, 6 June 2013

Food Banks and the Pound




Food has been a subject in the news lately, last week it was about food banks and the 2 million or so people
who have become reliant on them to survive in Britain today, and I must add many are the working poor, meagerly paid who possibly have young families to support and are not able to do so on the money that is taken home. The minimum wage has risen this year or so Vince Cable the Business Secretary announced it will, in October by an insufficient 12p, and as it has done since “2009” below the rate of inflation.

Hence, what can you do with £6.31 an hour in today’s modern consumer society? Well you will not be able to spend it all in more than one shop that is for sure, or even get a grate deal with it, in my local Iceland store today I noticed that potato's large size cost £3 a bag, when I say large, two bags may feed a family of four for two days

One other thing we should not forget and that is the National Minimum Wage came into existence as a capacious flagship policy of Tony Blair’s newly elected Labour government in the 1998 Act, and an Act that was used then as it is today to keep wages down.

 What was it that Harold Wilson said about the pound in your pocket being worth more today under a Labour government than under a Tory one; well in fact what he said was this: 
 
 “It dose not mean that the pound here in Britain, in your pocket or purse or bank, has been devalued”.

That was in 1967 and he was answering the decision to devalue the pound claiming it would tackle the “root cause of Britain’s economic problems, but get this he also said in a radio and television broadcast that it would (devaluation) enable Britain to “break out of the straitjacket” of boom and bust economics, well I never that reminds me of someone else?

So coming back to my thread of food poverty today, even in the 1960s you would be able to get more for the pound even after devaluation than what you can get for it today in the local shops and supermarkets’. Not at all, am I trying to make out that people had been living in the lap of luxury back then, far from it, but they did not need food banks, they didn't even dream about them back then in Britain, but today an estimated 13 million people live below the poverty line, and that line is getting longer for reasons ranging from redundancy to being unable to pay an unexpectedly high utility bill or as I say being on a low income. Food banks nationwide fed 126,889 children last year. The rising costs of food and fuel combined with static income, high unemployment and changes to benefits and welfare system will be the cause of more people attending a food bank.

Across Britain people are struggle to feed themselves and their families, It could be redundancy, illness, benefit delay, domestic violence, debt, family breakdown, the additional costs of heating during winter, it could be you or me going hungry next week?   

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