Picture it, the start of a life, your born into a loving family, are brought up by that family to the best of their abilities given their social and economic backgrounds. As you grow up your family instills in you a sense of person, of responsibility and an ethos of how you should live your life and when you reach adult hood all of those things mean nothing because the government have messed up the economy of your country through their own greed and ego.
At the age of 19 you want to leave home and start out on your own, you feel compelled to do this not because you have been forced to but because you have a partner or just want the adventure. What do you find out there in the big wide world? Well no jobs that’s for certain, not for your age group with no work experience and not so many qualifications. Now you don’t want to go home and say you have failed because in essence you haven’t but if you want to continue living in your little apartment you need to fund your living costs. There are different avenues open to you, get a job (?), live in a place with no intention of paying for it until you are tossed out, turn to crime or claim benefits.
The benefit system was introduced to help specific people when they fell on hard times, workers who had lost their job, fallen sick or didn’t earn enough to pay for rent etc. You didn’t grow up and go straight onto benefits, that’s not what they are there for. But if you are that young person who has had to leave home, through abuse, death of parents, or by just being made homeless what is there in place to help you?
Apparently there are a few places which offer assisted living for kids aged 16 to late 20’s, find one if you can, government cuts and all. There is living on the streets, no thanks. If you are lucky to find a room to rent and are old enough to claim benefit the dear old boy network which our government is made up of these days has made it so hard to get any help that it is a wonder that there are not more kids living in a cardboard box under a bridge or committing suicide. You go to the job center, yeah right, benefits office and ask to sign on a benefit, you jump through hoops filling in a mound of forms only to be told ‘no sorry you can’t claim that, your not eligible’ on to the next form and in the end you finally manage to sort something out, yes they will pay your rent and housing benefit, they will give you money for your electric and food but to get it all they want you to perform so many different tasks on different days and if your early or if your late or if you don’t or if you do but at the wrong time, well now they have you over a barrel. There is a new word, ‘sanction’, the dreaded word no one on benefits wants to hear, because if you don’t do as your told when your told we will stop your money you naughty poverty stricken person.
Who came up with it? Oh yes those elite and very wealthy men in suits. What they don’t understand is the harm they are doing to the young people who have no other option other than to ask for help. Like the kid who has left home, is job hunting but hasn’t found a job they like enough to stick at it, maybe they forget an appointment, don’t job search enough to satisfy a little hitler behind a desk and get a sanction. Maybe they make a few consecutive mistakes and are sanctioned for months on end, their money stops, they are told that as one benefit isn’t paying their rent then they have to pay full council tax, you owe us £700 mate, pay up by next week or else. No food or elecy? tough it out, ask your mum and dad, find the money from somewhere, don’t get caught shop lifting a butty because your starving as you’ll end up in court with a fine you have to pay out of thin air, your starving, you have nowhere to live as you have been kicked out of your supported accommodation because you can’t pay, you can’t go home, you don’t want people to think you have failed, you can’t bear to think you have failed. You wander the streets and a couple of months down the line you are sitting on a park bench wondering how you came to be homeless. Your dirty and haven’t eaten a proper meal in weeks and now you have absolutely no chance of getting a job because businesses don’t employ the homeless. All the while the suits in government shake their heads at the unemployment figures and try to find new ways to force people to get off their butts and find a job.
Today’s government are so far removed from ordinary folk that they can’t see what harm they are doing, it would be very interesting to find out figures over the last four years, how many have committed suicide because they have been denied the help they were receiving, how many sick and disabled, young and old who have been driven to the brink when they have had their much needed money stopped because the government have moved targets or changed requirements. You can’t tell the suits to go and live like ordinary people because the suits who have enough can never live long enough like an ordinary person to understand what they go through every day, every week of their lives.
Unfortunately there isn’t a political party at the moment who can run our country like the good old fashioned Labour party, the party run by working class men for working class families and until there is a party who can we are stuck with Eaton educated wealthy men trying to tell us how to live our lives. You can’t vote them out as there is no one to replace them with so for the foreseeable future young people, the people who will eventually be responsible for our country are being battered and down trodden and forced into poverty. What kind of future can they look forward to?