Sunday, July 09, 2017

Poverty And Common Sense.


 David H Rhodes, Keble Park North, Bishopthorpe, York. Yorkshire Post.
A RECENT conversation was trying to define poverty, a word we hear so often nowadays. One contribution was a family of seven who lived in a two-roomed house where the children slept on the floor with pillows of sorts and the treat was to get the sleeve of the overcoat thrown over them. This happened in living memory in this country!
Now there are so many benefits available that such poverty should be non-existent.
I remember the varied meals we had at home and “Toad in the Hole” was popular, especially if one got some of the crispy batter.
There will always be some genuine poverty, but not as much as is portrayed. Food parcels will be claimed by the greedy, those too idle to cook low-cost meals and those who’d rather spend on fags, booze and electronic gear. Benefits are there to help, not to provide a comfortable lifestyle.
Mr Rhodes is correct - but only to a degree. He may be overstating his case as much as the left overstate theirs. I know a lot of people who work for food banks and, believe me, they have no desire to give anything away to anyone who is not at rock bottom. Besides, most (all?) food banks only give on a temporary, tide-you-over basis to those who have been referred by responsible sources.                                              The only reason I am prepared to give to food banks is because they are so careful in their distributions. A typical case would be someone who has recently and unexpectedly lost a job and, having been on an already low income, has been unable to have emergency provision in place. Living 'hand to mouth' may not be poverty - but it is pretty darned close!