Tag Archive: poverty


Late one evening last week.

When I was taking my son back to his flat in Rock Ferry, I drove down Borough road and thought ‘oh that would be a great photo’. There on the opposite side of the street were a row of commercial premises with flats above. ‘So what’ I can hear you think. Well the reason I found them so interesting was because of the decay, dilapidation and forlornness of the buildings. high street, shops, closed, boarded up, vacant, empty, flats, disussed,

Where once there had been bustling shops with a myriad of different families living over them there now stood these forlorn looking buildings just waiting to be knocked down. While I was taking my photos a guy came out of the end building and started chatting to my husband. He actually lived in the flat over the, what we thought was empty, end retail space. Spray painting cars as a hobby, he was the last person in the block of old sshop, sign, old, faded, painted, high street, hops.

He told us that the shops had slowly closed over time, been bought and sold without anyone new moving in and eventually been bought by the council and left to rot. Apparently the council wants to knock all of the block down and turn it into green space. Not that we don’t need new homes of course, we all know we should be building on brown site land to save the countryside though, don’t we? Read more……….

Poverty is a state of mind

My Fotofund project is in need of donations. I am running out of time and money and need to find backers as soon as possible. Please click on the link and read about my project, i think it is a worth while subject.

‘I want to document the effects the austerity measures have created. The struggle families go through to provide the basic necessities for every day living. The struggle young people go through to find work and the punitive measures used against them if they fail. To explore the changes it has made in the definition of poverty and how it differs in the 21st century.’

poverty

‘There have been so many changes to the benefit system. No longer do you get to sign on, walk out the door and collect your money. Now it is job searching 6 days a week and prove it. They have moved the posts on disability benefits. Where once you were helped if you couldn’t do certain things, now you are helped because you can do certain things, only this way there are significantly more people taken off the benefit than are helped. We now have ‘sanctions’ the suspension of your benefit if you don’t toe the line. I want to document the struggle, heartache, despair, that is felt by the people who perhaps didn’t vote in the Tory government and to do that i want to produce a body of photographic work that will show case the emotion, bring to your attention the abject poverty modern families find themselves in.  To show you the effects of the reforms on men, women and children and what it can do to their mental well being’………..

Poverty is a state of mind

who’s mind

no jobs

weary

hopeless

depressed

anger at the struggle for daily living

made to feel worthless and lazy

second class citizens by the very people who should help

tired

ashamed

who do you think you are to say my struggle is all in my head

with your silver spoons and Eton education

do you really think you know how we suffer to live on seven quid a day

you say we need to cut the GDP

what about our debt

the fat cats sit on their cushy jobs and with no mind to the results

cut here cut there

slicing into our lives

but never their own

never their own

the old boy network help themselves and look down on the degraded suicidal

sanctioned

how can we pull ourselves out of this mess when there are no resources for us to use

we are not all lazy

worthless

work shy

scroungers

tell us enough and maybe we start to believe it

is poverty the state of my mind

the struggle is not in my head

we suffer the abuse

the prejudice

the shame of joblessness

oh they say

there are schemes for you to try

but where are the jobs

get yourself back into work

but where are the schemes to help start your business

stress

fear

despair

we will beat it and we will better it

poverty is not a mindful thing

it is that family pushed and shoved and squeezed into debt just because that 1% help themselves and the country goes to pot

but we will do it and we will do it well

and f*uck the government

we will do it without your help

no longer sanctioned

no more shame

not ostracised

stigmatised

demonised

but once again a member of the working class

poverty may still be there

but not in my mind

 

 

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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