AS the Dispatch front-page headline said two weeks ago, it was “Christmas in poverty for hundreds of Hucknall children” — and every other day of the year too, along with millions of children throughout the UK.
I’ve also seen figures which support the ones in the article, showing that 20-25% of the UK population is living on, or below, the official government poverty line. And as we all know, any government figure for a supposed decent standard of living is always a bare minimum.
The Dispatch figures for the children of Hucknall vary between 16 and 28%, depending on the area, so that equates with the 20-25% as above.
I have watched this problem develop since the late 1970s/early 1980s under successive governments of both main parties, so they should both share some (or a lot perhaps?) of the responsibility for it.
During this time, the incomes of the highly-paid small minority have increased about four times those of the low paid (or minimum wage) majority.
Also, the price of property and rents have increased about three times as much as low incomes. So, no matter how hard-working and caring these parents are, it’s impossible for some to live above the poverty line. And their children suffer too of course.
In the last financial year, most low-paid workers have had no (or very little) increase in wages, while the wealthy small minority have received an average 18-20% increase.
One group, top company executives, actually took 50%, lifting them to £2.7 million. It is this greed by the small minority that is one of the main causes of poverty.
Even Hucknall’s Conservative MP, Mark Spencer, says in the Dispatch article: “You see bankers and footballers earning millions, and there are children out there whose families can’t afford to eat”. If a politician is talking this way, things must be bad.
There are also lots of others, as well as bankers and footballers, who are greedily taking obscene amounts of money — while ten million (full-time and part-time) workers are paid £12K (or less) a year.
It is awful that so many of our children are being forced to live in poverty. I’m sure it can only improve if the extreme greed of the small minority is stopped, or at least greatly reduced.
If not, things will only get worse, and affect more and more children. Then, at some point in the future, our society will have even more adults than now who aren’t able to contribute adequately to our society.
The danger signs are already here, with this legacy of poverty being forced on our children.
Continuing greed by the minority will increase poverty for a growing number of people and their children.
George Street, Hucknall.