I meet opponents of the government who know exactly what needs to be done: give the poor more. How right they are in my eyes. Release government funds to raise social security and increase rent support so that when rents rise the poor are not unable to pay, etc etc. Support people to stay in their homes so that they and their children are not likely to fall into homelessness.
We live in such an inflation-inspired crisis that we have little choice but to plead for more. The Opposition calls for more, knowing it will not come. Yet if it did come, it would undermine their campaign to become the next government. Labour is calling for more help for first-time buyers, and suddenly the government announces it too is looking at providing greater support. This is a chess game that the poorest among us are losing. A whirligig of pieces are being moved and removed, and yet those in need remain in need.
Was there a golden time when the poor had everything they wanted, that they needed? If this was the case, did they remain poor? Yes of course they did. My parents were poor but at some stage towards the end of their lives, in the ‘golden’ days of the ’70s, they had comfort and security. They were not living in the slums they started their married life in.
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They were halcyon days compared to now. They had a well-made council flat and an income from their own labours to ensure that they largely got what they wanted. But now, with inflation stalking the land and social security never meeting the requirements of the day, we have a different reality.
Over the last 40 years all governments have made up for the financial limitations in people’s lives by giving them support. And that support has proved negligible in providing for all needs. About 12 million people are on state pension, six million people are on universal credit and three million receive housing benefit. But now, because so many rely on state support, there is a dire need to ensure that people can survive through inflation. This is nothing but a drip feeding of people in need.