My personal belief is there is no such thing. When was the last time you saw a 9 year old chimney sweep, a little girl selling matchsticks on the corner of your street or a family of 5 going through your wheeley bin in the hopes of finding some left over scraps of pizza?. It just can’t happen these days. Successive Governments, over the last hundred years, have managed to wipe out this kind of child poverty. So why do they, and, even worse, charities like Save The Children keep on trying to insist that they haven’t?.
The charity Save the Children, best known for helping some of the world’s poorest families, has launched its first appeal to help UK children.
The charity says the UK’s poorest children are bearing the brunt of the recession, with some missing out on regular hot meals or new shoes.
I notice Save The Children aren’t saying these children have no shoes or no food. Now that would be real poverty. The kind you see in India and such other places. They are just stating they don’t have enough of these things. According to whom?. There are children in the world that have never owned a single pair of shoes, new or otherwise, and others that have spent their entire lives surviving on the scraps thrown out by others. Since when did a lack of toast and new trainers make you a pauper?. For the poorest children in the UK there is already a very good system in place to ensure they are clothed and fed. It’s called the benefits system. Any parent that has a child they cannot feed is entitled to benefits. That’s one of the reasons why many believe those that are classed as living in poverty keep having more and more children that others believe they can’t afford to feed.
The charity defines living in poverty as having a family income of less than £17,000 a year.
More than half the parents in poverty surveyed (61%) said they had cut back on what they ate and more than a quarter (26%) had skipped meals in the past year.
Just under a fifth (19%) said their children sometimes had to go without new shoes when they needed them.
I bet they didn’t go without Sky, mobile phones or an x-box though?. Just because parents refuse to do without the finer things in life does not mean their children are growing up in poverty. It just means they have stupid and/or irresponsible parents. Let’s take the universal child benefit for example. 1st child gets you £20.30 a week. All further children get £13.40. So I get just about £190 per month for my three. There is no way on earth it costs me that much to feed them, which is what that benefit is for.
My weekly shop rarely exceeds £50, and that doesn’t just feed my kids, it also includes feeding me, the two dogs and covers most non edibles like loo roll, washing powder etc. My earnings pay the other living expenses, rent, utilities, car costs etc. However the nature of my work means my earnings can fluctuate and like everyone, if my washing machine breaks down, it requires some swift financial juggling to find the funds for a replacement. Washing machines are more important than sky tv. Food is more important than Sky or washing machines. It’s just a case of priorities.
There are many ways I can reduce our weekly expenditure, quite radically, if needs must. The dogs get family choice chow instead of pedigree chum and bulk bought dog biscuits. We buy cheap bread instead of Hovis (toast is toast is toast). In fact everything that can be bought cheaper, is. It doesn’t taste so good (I can’t comment on the dog food, but the dogs make their opinion quite clear). If things get really bad we resort to family choice loo roll, luckily this has only happened once or twice. The one thing I couldn’t imagine doing is choosing something, anything else over a meal for my children (hot or cold, does it really matter?). Likewise, if my children need new shoes they get them, however if they simply want new shoes they may have to wait a while.
Just because some parents actually have a list of priorities that has ‘feeding and clothing the kids’ placed well below the X-Box live subscription, the monthly mobile phone bill and Mum and Dads friday night out fund doesn’t mean we have a generation of children growing up in abject poverty. It just means we have a generation of children growing up in the care of self obsessed, spoiled bloody idiots. The way to solve this problem is not to throw even more money at them, if anything, the simpler, and far cheaper solution would be to give them less. And if the parents, and the idiots from Save The Children, start whining about how the poor, deprived children of the UK are suffering even more we could use the savings to buy them all a one way ticket to India or Mexico.
We could class it as an educational benefit, free to anyone that really thinks £17,000 a year, how ever you get it, benefits, wages or both, doesn’t leave you enough money to feed your children. Hell, I reckon there would be enough left over to buy everyone a new pair of shoes, even if they didn’t actually need them, Asdas sell them £10 a pair.