Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Children in poverty

The debate about children in poverty had raised its head again lately here after the report which said that more children from working families are living under the poverty line than those in non-working families. The sensationalist headline "work doesn't pay" being the title of choice for some tabloids.

Whatever the particular statistics, the fact remains that in the UK today, 4 million children live in poverty. That's 1 in 3. That is shocking. Apparently the poverty line is where the household income is less than 60% of the median household income. Or in normal terms, for a family of 4, a total income of around £300 per week, inclusive of benefits etc.[]

For the people who think...Oooh, £1200 per month sounds ok, let me break it down for you. (for a family of 4)

Mortgage or rent £600
Council tax £140
Gas & electric £50
Water £25
Car costs £150 (inc petrol, tax, NOT inc repairs, servicing, MOT & tax)

So we are at £965 costs but we haven't yet...
Fed ourselves... a conservative £300
Used the phone...£40
Internet & TV ...£35
Then... clothes, savings, pension, insurances, washing machines blowing up...
Credit repayments?

Now its waaay over the £1200 so what now? I'm not saying I have the answers here, but this is the real situation, lived by real people in our country today. Children are not being allowed to be children because of poverty, they're denied opportunity and deprived of nice things, even things like their parents affording to have a friend round for tea. Never mind the overseas holidays which are simply out of reach.

After comments I've read around and about online today, I wish people would stop and think before they start splashing a black brush around.

I'll definitely be revisiting this topic so watch this space.
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