The forgotten millions

Whilst this blog may devote much time now and in the future to trumpeting the many achievements of the ‘recently deceased’ labour government, there is one way in which for all its promise, hope and expectation, this otherwise ‘progressive’ govt. failed to do enough.

In the years 2008-2009 there were 13.5 million people which the Joseph Rowntree Foundation considered to be living in poverty (for more details, see website). This roughly equates to 1 out of every 5 people living in the UK. Labour’s record with poverty has often been defended, but how can any government be ‘progressive’ whilst allowing such poverty to exist in the country it serves.

With all government spending under review, many of us fear cuts which will affect us personally, from University budgets and job centres to local community projects and the courts, but it is clear that already, in every corner of the UK, there are people who have been forgotten.

Many of these people have jobs, work hard, have paid their taxes and obeyed our laws, however they are being failed.

Whilst this rise in poverty has only risen recently after years in decline, there are still 3.8 million children in this country who live in poverty; the UK has a higher proportion of its population living in relative poverty than most other EU countries, with only 6 of the 27 EU countries having a higher rate than the UK. If we wish to lead Europe on any issue, I plead with our politicians to make it this one.

It must be agreed that Labour did not do enough in their time in office to amend this terrible state of affairs, but it must also be said that some fault lies with both the opposition parties, as well as with all of us in the general public for choosing to worry and lobby about other issues.

We must not, however, be allowed to dwell on past mistakes. Instead it is our as citizens to ensure that, during all the talk of public expenditure cuts and above all the political point scoring there is one thing which we all must remember, no matter who we are. There are millions of people in financial situations much worse than anything most have experienced and these people are all to often forgotten or simply turned into statistics for use on partisan battle grounds…

If governments in future do not grasp this situation and fail to help the poorest in our society, I for one will vote against them, irrespective of who they are…



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