Greenock Telegraph 23rd September

Seven million households across the U.K. are facing fuel poverty this winter. This is a political decision made by the Conservative and Unionist government at Westminster. They are choosing not to impose a windfall tax on excess profits made by the energy companies. They are reportedly choosing to scrap the cap on bankers’ bonuses as they believe that will boost the City of London. We tried the trickle-down economy before. It didn’t work. It has never worked, and it never will work. There is a reason why the number of people receiving three days’ worth of emergency food from Trussell Trust food banks in the U.K. has gone from under 45,000 in 2009/10 to over 2,000,000 in 2021/22. And that reason is that the U.K. government has been spectacularly successful in keeping the rich in a manner to which they have become accustomed and persuading the impoverished that times are hard, and they have to find a way to manage. We even have the obscenity of a television game show when the prize is to pay your energy bill for a few months. Poverty porn as light entertainment, welcome to 21st century Britain. All of this can be changed. We either accept that poverty will be a constant pressure on one in every five people or we challenge it. Together, we can build a society where everyone has the income they need for a dignified life. We can strengthen our social security safety net, pay at least the real Living Wage, build high quality public services and redesign our economy to meet people’s needs. The week commencing 3rd October is Challenge Poverty Week, get involved by visiting www.challengepoverty.net.