Many parents ‘can't afford to fed their children’

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Poverty has been known in Britain before in decades and centuries past but we seem to be seeing a return to some of the conditions of those years nowadays.

Save The Children has launched the first-ever appeal for British children over child poverty to help British children escape poverty. The accompanying report says that poor children in the UK are missing out on warm coats, new shoes and hot meals at home.

The charity says that there are 350,000 children living in real poverty in the UK, with 50 per cent of low-income families short of money every week according to its report “It Shouldn't Happen Here”.

It said poverty was 'tearing families apart' with 12% of the poorest children not having at least one hot meal a day, excluding school dinners and 25% of parents have deliberately skipped a meal so their children can eat instead.

Some 20% of mothers and fathers from households with incomes of less than £17,000 a year say their children go without new shoes, while 17% cannot afford new clothes. About 20% of children in poverty are not able to go on school trips and 14% have to do without a warm coat in winter.

One low-income parent admitted that they literally had to reply on any money we raised at car boot sales to pay for food for the week.

As I said above, poverty is not new to Britain and neither to the USA, and other developed nations, including Germany. However, this level of poverty should have been dealt with a long time a go. Our very welfare system was established to eliminate such kinds of poverty.

It is true that there are families that just cannot manage their finances and where the root cause is a different one than just low income.

One of the biggest problems, in my opinion, is that too many people still think that they have to keep up with the Joneses next door or down the street. Only problem is that the Joneses are a two-earner household with each of them brining in over £30,000 say.

There are essentials and there are things that too many think to be needs and essentials when they are not. And no, I am not trying to shift the blame but...

What is to blame for this situation is our economic and political system and the culture of more, more, more, and new all the time, and it is obvious that the poor families also would like to have some of those new shiny things.

In addition to that most things that we do have cannot, because the economic system has it decreed thus, no longer be repaired, as was the case with goods in years gone by, and therefore, when something breaks, it needs replacing.

Household payments, such as rents, utilities and such, keep going up and when then, in addition to that, food gets more expensive on a daily basis, as it would seem, what chance do those in the lower income bracket stand? Very little to none.

We do not need a new government; we need a new system. A new political as well a new economic system. A system where people and Planet come before profit and greed.

© 2012