What is poverty? And does it define us?

I had to reblog this, as it speaks to me with avoice from my childhood, where destitution could be one payslip away.
I remember, as a child, knowing that there was nothing to spare, where clothes from charities, and jumble sales, were the norm for us all. Where Mum scrimped and saved for necessities, and forget about luxuries – and where she often went without food for herself, to make sure that we children had at least one hot meal a day, even if it meant she didn’t eat it herself – and this was a household where my Dad worked all the hours he could to make ends meet!

This post, along with so many others I’ve been reading recently, are an inditement against the recent changes made both by New Labour, and the Conservatives, in the way in which they treat those people reduced to a state of poverty, through their deliberate, neoliberal, policies 😦

The poor side of life

This is a question that I get asked often. People ask me if I can define it. In reality its very difficult to define. There are three definitions of poverty in common usage, those being absolute poverty, relative poverty and social exclusion.

Absolute poverty defined as having the lack of sufficient resources with which to meet basic needs. Relative poverty defines income or resources in relation to the average income. But how does poverty define us?

According to the Joseph Rowntree foundation there are more than a million people living in poverty in the UK. I’m sure that figure is lower than the actual figure due to the level of people finding themselves without work etc rising everyday. They say that 184,5000 households have experienced a level of poverty that has left them with no choice but to resort to charities for essential things and shelter. The Joseph Rowntree foundation…

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2 responses to “What is poverty? And does it define us?

  1. I worked for a number of years supporting people who were or were at risk of homelessness. It is an extremely complex issue, as is s the causes of poverty. The high cost of housing in cities where there are jobs that don’t pay enough to cover rents is one cause. Rural poverty is different again, houses turned into holiday homes and lack of permanent jobs, work becomes seasonal and income unpredictable. Poverty for the elderly a completely different picture. Compassion is needed for all. When I was bringing up my family I became very grateful for free entertainment for children, be it parks or libraries.An interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Living in a rural area, I’ve seen, especially over the last 5 years, how badly it’s affecting the ordinary man and woman here.
      Social renting is a few council houses, but mainly Housing Associations, who are driving up the rents as rapidly as they can, and so private renting has become the norm here.
      But houses bought for holiday lets, and rapidly rising rents, are making it almost impossible to find somewhere anywhere near decent enough to live, with more and more private renters deciding not to rent to anyone unemployed, or ill/disabled.
      A friend of mine recently looked for somewhere, and the cheapest place she could find, would mean that she would have to find £1,200 just for the deposit and first 4 weeks rent. This is a single Mum, on minimum wages, with nothing left at the end of the week to save towards this goal and, because she’s earning a couple of pounds over the target amount, she gets no help with her rent or council tax, either!
      As we live in a place where jobs come as more the seasonal kind for the most part, it’s becoming much more common for families to be sharing their homes with grown-up children, including married grown-up children, and their children, too.
      The more I see the changes, the more it reminds me of my childhood, and the poverty that we lived through 😦
      So much for the wonderful 21st Century, where things will change for the better! 😦

      Liked by 1 person

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