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https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/524ecfefe4b0f459d922d1cb?INTCMP=mic_231176

Hi - I read this, today, on The Guardian's website - evidence from the LSE of the real state of affairs, as now experienced by so many, regardless of qualifications, former job experience or willingness to work very hard - in one of the richest countries on the planet!

Weirdly, although I checked very carefully, , I could find no trace, whatsoever, of this report on the Daily Mail's online site; obviously it's not sufficiently newsworthy - or something like that...!

Saludos,
GC
 

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https://witness.theguardian.com/assignment/524ecfefe4b0f459d922d1cb?INTCMP=mic_231176

Hi - I read this, today, on The Guardian's website - evidence from the LSE of the real state of affairs, as now experienced by so many, regardless of qualifications, former job experience or willingness to work very hard - in one of the richest countries on the planet!

Weirdly, although I checked very carefully, , I could find no trace, whatsoever, of this report on the Daily Mail's online site; obviously it's not sufficiently newsworthy - or something like that...!

Saludos,
GC
Well, tbh, it isn't that newsworthy. It's a report from the LSE and refers to Inner and Outer London.
There is plenty of evidence to show that income inequality has increased during the crisis and people on low incomes have seen their purchasing power reduced.
But i'm very sceptical when I see the term ' poverty' used in connection with the situation in the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Well, tbh, it isn't that newsworthy. It's a report from the LSE and refers to Inner and Outer London.
There is plenty of evidence to show that income inequality has increased during the crisis and people on low incomes have seen their purchasing power reduced/
I'd agree with your first point if I hadn't read other current threads in which the issue of the UK's so-called 'benefit scroungers' has been raised and commented upon. This forum is obviously not representative of UK Public Opinion (not least because its contributors hail from a range of other countries); but, having spent the last several months back in England, I'm even more distressed than ever at my country's apparent tolerance and acceptance of increasing levels of inequality, poverty and despair!

IMO, the LSE's report is absolutely newsworthy - its source ensures it can not be dismissed as the rantings of a bunch of left-wing, socialist hard-liners, or the biased viewpoint of some loony left think -tank..! I believe it's crucial that such reports should be plastered across the British media and made the subject of discussion and challenge in every possible public forum - until not a single British voter, or politician, can justify his/her ignorance of the facts concerned! Then, as always, it would be for each individual's conscience to determine whether, or not, he/she should accept the report's conclusions with equanimity - or find a suitable means to engage with those calling and acting for change!



[QUOTE}/ But i'm very sceptical when I see the term ' poverty' used in connection with the situation in the UK.[/QUOTE}


I'm at a loss to understand your point, here. Are you sceptical because you don't accept the notion of 'poverty' in the context of such a rich Western European country - as the UK is, undoubtedly?

As several of the contributors to the 'comments' list beneath The Guardian's article have described - the increasingly high cost of living in the UK, relative to their paltry levels of income and/or lack of employment opportunities, is capable of reducing individuals and families to living in conditions of poverty and hopelessness

The onset of any form of chronic ill-health or disability can render even a professionally qualified and employed person unemployable, homeless and dependent on decreasing public benefits for survival! (Within my own family, a relative who developed a sudden and permanent heart disease had to give up her young, but already successful Export company (on medical advice, she was not allowed to travel by air, for several years). Her many subsequent hospital visits led her to be deemed 'unavailable for work' by her local Job Centre, with, therefore, no right to either a 'Jobseeker's allowance' or any form of subsidised retraining. Other possible benefits were then denied, as a result.

During the 5 year wait for her condition to stabilise sufficiently for a major heart operation to be attempted, she was thus totally dependent on her pensioner mother for all her living costs - she was entitled to not one penny from the State - because she was a house owner, albeit in a house which could not be sold - due to the lack of potential buyers during this economic crisis! She's absolutely convinced she'd have been forced to live on the street (non-payment of Utility bills and Council Tax) and have died of starvation, had her mother not still been alive to save her - through sharing her pension and personal savings with her! She still had to pay the £7 fee for every prescription issued - several, each month! The years of regular payments to Social Security counted as nothing, in her case - a fraudulent and broken system, IMO!

As you know well, there may be the potential for Public Housing to be made available to those deemed to be eligible and in serious need, but all Local Authorities' Housing lists are totally oversubscribed. In any case, many individuals suffering from serious mental health problems are unable to comply with the requirements and procedures necessary to guarantee their acceptance as suitable candidates for such housing!

The Red Cross has, for the first time in its history, felt the need to begin a programme of support within the UK for families reliant for their survival on food banks - Charles Dickens would certainly find plenty of material to inspire a whole new series of novels, should his reincarnation be imminent...!

Saludos,
GC
 
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The problem as I see it is that the term 'poverty' is often used inappropriately and can with such use become meaningless.
The 'official' definition of poverty is a household income below 60% of median family income. This begs the question: why not 40%? or 50%? or 80? I have never been able to find exactly why that figure was decided on.
Then there is the fact that defining poverty in physical not statistical terms is fraught with difficulty. A person officially deemed 'poor' in the UK would be seen as extremely wealthy by a starving sub-Saharan. So poverty can be relative..in fact it always is. I am poorer than my son but richer than my mother..or would be were she alive.
Yet my mother did not consider herself to be poor although she was a pensioner in receipt of housing benefit and other supplements to her state pension which was her only income. Her social housing maisonette was well-furnished albeit with very old or second-hand furniture, her clothes were few but more than adequate and of good quality, again from charity shops or bought by me. She ate well as she shopped every day and cooked and her house was warm.

Interestingly, in 2008 UNICEF's League Table of Absolute Poverty put these countries in the bottom four places: Spain
Czech Republic
Hungary
Poland

UNICEF's League Table of Relative Poverty put these countries in the bottom four:
UK
Italy
U.S.A.
Mexico

Anyone with experience of these countries and other countries such as Albania, Romania and Greece must be a trifle bewildered looking at those lists, to say the least.

Poverty is such a complex and multi-faceted concept that I find its use unhelpful and distracting. What matters currently in the UK is inequality of income, then low pay, then poor or inadequate housing, then lack of care for the elderly. Focusing on such a vague concept as poverty allows the Right to switch focus from these real, tangible problems.

The other issue as I see it is that by focusing on poverty there is a danger that it will be seen as a problem that can easily be solved by throwing money at the 'poor'. It's more important to create more jobs, improve standards of literacy and numeracy, improve scientific and technical education, build affordable housing, better care for the elderly.

It's quality of life that matters most imo and 'poor' though she may have been by official measures, my old mum had quality of life: family, friends, her own little home with her own things, good health..

Many elderly and not-so elderly folk may be well-off in money terms but are alone and lonely with almost zero life quality.

So what I'm really saying is that I agree, all is not rosy in the garden, but the situation is complex.
 

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Oh, meant to say I'll take The Guardian seriously when it stops running pieces on poverty next to fashion pages flaunting trendy aparel costing more than a second-hand car, puffing restaurants where a meal for two costs more than a month's Jobseeker's Allowance and recommending wine at £20 a bottle.

Middle class guilt tourism..a form of onanism.

I used that last word as the one I wanted to use would have been filtered out..
 

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Having been in Colombia, I, too, question the use of the term"poverty". Many beggars I have encountered who might be classed as living "in poverty" still had a *** on!
 

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I've posted this before: beggars outside Lidl using expensive mobile phones....
 

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I've posted this before: beggars outside Lidl using expensive mobile phones....
Irrelevant. They are most likely part of a syndicate and pass their earnings on to a gangleader. You find them in supermarket carparks all over Spain.

46% of jobless people in Cadiz province get no unemployment benefits at all. There is 35% unemployment and multinational firms are still closing down and laying off workers. People have started trapping songbirds for food again, like they did in the postwar famine years. Every night there are people furtively rummaging in the rubbish containers looking for scraps.

I fear that in Britain's eagerness to abolish the welfare state, they could end up like Spain in a few years. Be careful what you wish for, Daily Mail readers!
 

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Irrelevant. They are most likely part of a syndicate and pass their earnings on to a gangleader. You find them in supermarket carparks all over Spain.
Why is it irrelevant?
We're still talking about poor people (you're not begging for the fun of it) using a mobile phone, even if it is financed by a gang leader
 

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Irrelevant. They are most likely part of a syndicate and pass their earnings on to a gangleader. You find them in supermarket carparks all over Spain.

46% of jobless people in Cadiz province get no unemployment benefits at all. There is 35% unemployment and multinational firms are still closing down and laying off workers. People have started trapping songbirds for food again, like they did in the postwar famine years. Every night there are people furtively rummaging in the rubbish containers looking for scraps.

I fear that in Britain's eagerness to abolish the welfare state, they could end up like Spain in a few years. Be careful what you wish for, Daily Mail readers!
The problem is that the welfare state as conceived in the late 1940s is no longer fit for purpose. For one thing, the costs have spiralled as population has grown, the number of actively working people has drastically declined and expectations are higher than in the early days of the welfare state.
Tbh, top-down one-size- fits-all state directed model is past its sell- by date.

What I find most frustrating is that governments of all Parties concentrate their efforts on cost-cutting rather than critically examining the existing model. I do think people should be encouraged to take responsibility for their own welfare wherever possible. Changing from a tax- based to an insurance- based model for health and unemployment/sick pay is one option that could be considered.

Welfare should be a safety net and not a lifestyle choice. That was the original intention behind the Beveridge Report. But until everyone has an income sufficient to be able to take more responsibility for themselves and their families, that will be a pipe- dream.

The state takes an enormous proportion of the incomes of working people in both direct and indirect taxes, well over 56% when you take into account income tax, fuel duty, VAT, tax on alcohol and tobacco, air passenger tax, stamp duty and other taxes on savings and investments and millions pf this money is wasted on senseless foreign wars, crazy projects like Concorde and HS2, not to mention bureaucratic ineptitude.

Maybe time for a national debate on what our expectations of a twenty- first century welfare state should provide and what our responsibilities should be.

Throwing money at problems like that won't solve them or make them go away.
 

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The problem is that the welfare state as conceived in the late 1940s is no longer fit for purpose. For one thing, the costs have spiralled as population has grown, the number of actively working people has drastically declined and expectations are higher than in the early days of the welfare state.
Tbh, top-down one-size- fits-all state directed model is past its sell- by date.

What I find most frustrating is that governments of all Parties concentrate their efforts on cost-cutting rather than critically examining the existing model. I do think people should be encouraged to take responsibility for their own welfare wherever possible. Changing from a tax- based to an insurance- based model for health and unemployment/sick pay is one option that could be considered.

Welfare should be a safety net and not a lifestyle choice. That was the original intention behind the Beveridge Report. But until everyone has an income sufficient to be able to take more responsibility for themselves and their families, that will be a pipe- dream.

The state takes an enormous proportion of the incomes of working people in both direct and indirect taxes, well over 56% when you take into account income tax, fuel duty, VAT, tax on alcohol and tobacco, air passenger tax, stamp duty and other taxes on savings and investments and millions pf this money is wasted on senseless foreign wars, crazy projects like Concorde and HS2, not to mention bureaucratic ineptitude.

Maybe time for a national debate on what our expectations of a twenty- first century welfare state should provide and what our responsibilities should be.

Throwing money at problems like that won't solve them or make them go away.
You should be a politician's speech writer but please not for that loud mouthed showman Farrage nor the numpties, camoron and clogg, nor on the other side of the house what'sisname. How about for Willie to try to get a head up above daddy charlie - maybe it would encourage thoughts of advancing his cause for premature ascendancy.
 

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You should be a politician's speech writer but please not for that loud mouthed showman Farrage nor the numpties, camoron and clogg, nor on the other side of the house what'sisname. How about for Willie to try to get a head up above daddy charlie - maybe it would encourage thoughts of advancing his cause for premature ascendancy.
I was a politician, albeit small fry and did write my speeches:D

Is this your polite way of saying I'm talking bollocks, Baldy??:):)
 

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I was a politician, albeit small fry and did write my speeches:D

Is this your polite way of saying I'm talking bollocks, Baldy??:):)
No I wholeheartedly agree with you, I was just suggesting that it out to be put to those self-seeking morons who run the country at present as a much better way forward.
 

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No I wholeheartedly agree with you, I was just suggesting that it out to be put to those self-seeking morons who run the country at present as a much better way forward.
I would like to see decent-minded people in all Parties -with certain exceptions - start a national debate on the really big issues that are being evaded....the role of the state, funding decent public services, immigration, our real defence needs..

But that's a wish I don't expect to see come true.

It's as if we are too frightened to face up to the fact that since Thatcher tore up the rules and kicked the post-war consensus into the long grass the old certainties have gone. I thought Blair was going to do that with New Labour but it was Thatcherism Mark Two with a few modifications.

Mind you, if union half-wits like ex-Trot bully McCluskey score any more own goals we will be enduring Tory rule for another ten years or more..just like the Marxist hard-left gave us ten years plus of Thatcher in the 1980s.

Union leaders who were elected by a minority of their members should not pretend to speak for working people.
Neither should Tories like Osborne also elected by a minority pretend to speak for 'hard-working families', about which he knows sod-all.
 

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Welfare should be a safety net and not a lifestyle choice. That was the original intention behind the Beveridge Report. But until everyone has an income sufficient to be able to take more responsibility for themselves and their families, that will be a pipe- dream.
Absolutely. But the nature of work has changed since the 1940s, when even an unskilled worker could support a family on one wage. There was a job for anyone who wanted one, provided they were physically able to work.

That's no longer the case. Yet the most efficient way for businesses to increase their profitabilty is by cutting staff costs, e.g. by automating jobs formerly done by humans or hiring people on short-term or zero-hours contracts. The government supports all this by topping up people's miserable incomes with benefits. So it's no longer a safety net, it's a government subsidy.
 

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Absolutely. But the nature of work has changed since the 1940s, when even an unskilled worker could support a family on one wage. There was a job for anyone who wanted one, provided they were physically able to work.

That's no longer the case. Yet the most efficient way for businesses to increase their profitabilty is by cutting staff costs, e.g. by automating jobs formerly done by humans or hiring people on short-term or zero-hours contracts. The government supports all this by topping up people's miserable incomes with benefits. So it's no longer a safety net, it's a government subsidy.
It's a taxpayer subsidy. Government income comes from taxes on businesses and individuals and borrowing. Loans have to be repaid and taxation can only produce a part of the revenue needed to fund government projects. In a free society tax the super- rich too hard and they will relocate. Look at what has happened in France..Hollande's tax hike has not produced the desired effect.

Public sector employment does not produce revenue in the way private sector employment does. The Marxist model as instituted in the socialist states delivered poor quality social, health and education services when compared to western and many Asian models.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with businesses making a profit. We need more profitable businesses. Over 80% of UK business activity is from small enterprises, not global giants. People who take risks to create jobs deserve profits. We invested our own future in our business. We were lucky. Others not so.
It's the level of profitability and how it is taxed that is crucial.

When people say the government should do this or that it's our money, taxpayers' money, that is required. Raising tax on the super- rich, closing avoidance loopholes, cracking down on evaders..all good and necessary stuff. But it won't be enough to give everyone a job, raise standards in health and education and so on.

Some hard truhs have to be faced and maybe expectations lowered. And there won't be a revolution next week or any time in the foresseable future either.
 
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