Poverty is a state of mind

Poverty doesn’t really exist according to the Tory government it is just a ‘state of mind’ and when i heard this i began to look at what they meant and the governments idea of poverty and what is actual poverty are very very far removed.

I decided to start a photographic project ; http://spikeymousephotography.co.uk/poverty-is-a-state-of-mind and i am funding it through; http://en.fotofund.org/campaigns/poverty-state-mind-damn-government-dictates/ if you would like to donate to it.

The country needs to cut the overall deficit which is expected to be £1.5 trillion in the 2015-16 fiscal year. Now bearing in mind the 33 members of the Tory cabinet who are able to attend cabinet meetings is presently made up of 53% independently educated ministers, with 50% having attended either Oxbridge or Cambridge. They are not short of a quid or two, they get a good stipend for what they do and the perks are many. So when they are gathered around the table and looking at ways to cut the countries deficit they seem to protect themselves, keeping their tax low, giving themselves raises over the 1% the nurses receive, cutting benefits for the people who need them the most. And it is this that got me thinking and looking at how it has affected ordinary people.

 The bedroom tax,  a cut in your housing benefit if you live in a council or housing association property and have what is classified as a ‘spare’ bedroom. You can only claim for a certain number of bedrooms, depending on how many people live in your home. This means that the amount of net rent covered by housing benefit is cut by:

  • 14% if you have one spare bedroom
  • 25% if you have two or more spare bedrooms

So this means if you are disabled and have an empty bedroom where you keep your medical equipment because its close to you or you have no where else to store it, you are penalised for living in accommodation that it too large for your needs.

Disability benefits have been reassessed, changed from what you cant do to what you can do, which completely rules out certain disabilities from receiving benefits full stop and they are then placed onto benefits forcing them back to work regardless of them being fit to or not. And if they don’t find work or jump through hoops looking for work they are sanctioned, their money stopped for weeks, months or upwards of THREE years. Which then leads to food banks and well yes, poverty.

So the ministers sitting at their table with no money worries, perhaps they have old family wealth behind them, or are lucky to know someone who knows someone who can get them onto the board of the large companies, decide how to add money to the coffers to pay back the £1.5 Trillion the Country owes, not by raising the taxes on the rich or on the big multinational companies but by penalising the every day person, Mr and Mrs Normal. And they say ‘Poverty is a state of mind’.

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*Telegraph.co.uk, Guardian.com, Sutton Trust for additional data

 

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