Article for Discussion from the ‘Chairman Respect For The Unemployed And Benefit Claimants’
95a Moss Lane East
Tel: 44 79438333848
7 June 2020
Poverty Inequality Covid-19 – A Political Choice
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A Government should ultimately be judged on how it supports the most vulnerable in society. In the United States the people protesting are not just protesting about George Floyd death – the anger has been brewing for decades.
It’s about RESPECT – inequality has skyrocketed. Governments on both sides of the Atlantic stripped away our dignity and respect they fundamentally lack the emapthic understanding. Government agencies demonise, patronise and marginalise the poorest in society. For decades the most vulnerable in society have been left to starve and in many cases left to die. Emergency Foodbank usage at an all time high. In the UK the Department for Work and Pensions with government ministers abuse the media spreading headline grabbing stories which demoralise and encouraged claimants into suicide. The true figure of those most vulnerable in society who have died from covid 19 has yet to be identified but the true figure will shock many.
Many of those who have been mentally, emotionally and financially tortured for decades will have paid the ultimate price….. dying at home alone from covid 19. There will be NO ‘Business As Usual’ when this pandemic is over!
The current regime within the Department for Work and Pensions demand sick and disabled benefit claimants back to work using the Work Capability Assessments – It needs to be scrapped. The Work Capability Assessments fails to take into account the long-term impact of covid 19’s secondary impact diseases. The Work Capability Assessments has contributed to the deaths of more than 100,000 benefit claimants in recent years – directly or indirectly many have been persecuted and suffered under this regime.. it has to stop!
This pandemic is increasing poverty in the UK, where levels are already high after a decade of austerity triggered by the Global Financial Crisis. Research shows that more than 14 million people in the UK are classed as living in poverty, or nearly one-quarter of the population.
According to the Social Metrics Commission, over 14 million people in the UK are now in poverty and more than four million people are trapped in deep poverty. Seven million people, including 2.3 million children, are affected by what it terms as “persistent poverty”. An estimated 1.5 million people in the UK are in poverty as a result of benefits cuts and high rents.
A decade of austerity has elevated the poverty crisis. Since 2010, the Tories have cut £40 billion a year from the work and pensions budget through cuts and freezes to tax credits and benefits and this has also created a spike in the baseline definition of poverty: a homelessness crisis in the UK.
An estimated 320,000 people are now homeless in the UK, according to research by Shelter published in November 2018. This equates to one in every 200 people in Britain, an increase of 4 per cent on the previous year. The charity estimates that there are 135,000 children now living in temporary accommodation and that 4-5,000 people sleep on the streets on any given night in the UK – a figure that has almost doubled since 2010.
An estimated 726 people died while homeless in England and Wales in 2018. This was up 22 per cent on the previous year – the highest year-to-year rise since this data started being collected. A report by the waste company Biffa, the Open University and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management has shown that rough sleepers sheltering in bins has spiked in the past five years, with increased homelessness in the UK blamed for a rising number of deaths by crushing and near misses while bin containers are being emptied.
At least seven people sleeping in bins are known to have been killed in the past five years, according to the Health and Safety Executive. From April to December 2019, Biffa employees also recorded 109 “near misses” or encounters with people either sleeping in or near its bins.
There are more people dying at home during Covid-19 pandemic – UK analysis
Data suggests that sick and disabled may be avoiding hospital because of coronavirus fears.
Poverty stricken areas are at a greater risk of those dying from Covid-19. Areas with the highest levels of deprivation pay the heaviest price in terms of death count. The impact of poor diet low wages, unemployment and benefit sanctions had left those in disadvantaged areas more vulnerable to the virus.
It’s totally unacceptable” that a government review into black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) deaths from coronavirus has been delayed. The Public Health England review was launched last month with the aim of analysing how factors such as ethnicity can impact people’s health outcomes from the virus. According to data from the Office for National Statistics, black men and women are more than four times more likely to suffer a coronavirus-related death than white people.
In the 1980’s Britain saw Mass Riots just like the ones taking place in the United States in 2020. The UK suffered serious riots across many major cities. Perceived as race riots between communities, the main motives were related to racial tension and inner city deprivation. The riots were caused by a distrust of the police and authority. The most serious riots that occurred were the Brixton riots in London, the Toxteth riots in Liverpool, the Handsworth riots in Birmingham, the Chapeltown riots in Leeds, and the Moss Side riots in Manchester. There were also a series of less serious riots in other towns and cities.
In all four main areas they had suffered from poor housing (mostly dating from the 19th and early 20th centuries), high unemployment and particular problems with racial tensions. The Conservative Party government elected in 1979 had instituted new powers for the Police under the Vagrancy Act of 1824 to stop and search people based on only a ‘reasonable suspicion’ that an offence had been committed — hence their common name of “sus laws”. These were applied disproportionately to the black community, and caused widespread resentment amongst young black men. The majority of these were not immigrants; they were the British-born children of immigrants, mostly born in the late 1950s or the first half of the 1960s.
The election of the Tories in 1979 had also seen the implementation of monetarist economic policies which were designed to tackle inflation, which had peaked at 27% just before the election of the government, dropped merely to 22% in 1980 and was still above 10% by 1981.
Although inflation was falling by 1981, unemployment was still rising and the recession was now in its second year. By April 1981, unemployment exceeded 2.5 million, having stood at 1.5 million two years earlier. Less than a decade earlier, unemployment had still been in six figures and it had stood at less than 400,000 as recently as the early 1960s. The inner city areas affected by the 1981 riots were among those hit particularly hard by the recession and the unemployment and other social issues which came with it.
This level of unemployment, not seen since the 1930s, had led to mass discontent in the working class areas of Britain most affected by the recession.
In 2020 – we now have 8.4 million workers furloughed unable to work on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Recent figures from the government’s independent economic forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility, show that the cost of the government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic is expected to hit £123.2bn. The OBR expects annual borrowing to equal 15.2% of the UK economy, which would be the highest since the 22.1% seen at the end of World War Two.
The true cost to people’s lives could well prove to be breathtaking. We could well be looking at nearly 3 Million being Unemployed within months. Statistics over next six months will expose the real impact of this tory regime mismanagement of our economy and this pandemic.
Britain could well be heading for riots in the near future!
In the 1980’s we had the Poll Tax Riots
The poll tax riots took place against the Community Charge (colloquially known as the “poll tax”), introduced by the Tories under Margaret Thatcher. The largest protest occurred in central London on Saturday 31 March 1990, shortly before the tax was due to come into force in England and Wales.
The proposed replacement was a flat-rate per capita Community Charge — a head tax that saw every adult pay a fixed rate amount. The new Charge was widely called a “poll tax” and was introduced in Scotland in 1989 and in England and Wales a year later. The Charge proved extremely unpopular; while students and the registered unemployed had to pay 20%, some large families occupying relatively small houses saw their charges go up considerably, and the tax was thus accused of saving the rich money and moving the expenses onto the poor.
Britain faces being thrown into the ‘chaos’ of the poll tax riots yet again in 2020
Child poverty is rising ‘inexorably’ and we predict that we will have over 7 million children living in poverty in the UK by 2022 due to current economic chaos caused by the tories in response to covid 19. Before the coronavirus pandemic the Child Poverty Action Group was projecting 5.2 million by 2022.
Before the Coronavirus Pandemic
* 47% of children living in lone-parent families are in poverty. Lone parents face a higher risk of poverty due to the lack of an additional earner, low rates of maintenance payments, gender inequality in employment and pay, and childcare costs.
* Children from Black and minority ethnic groups are more likely to be in poverty: 45 per cent are now in poverty, compared with 26 per cent of children in White British families.
Nearly 400 people were arrested and 113 injured when the poll tax riots swept the country in 1990, in opposition to the Community Charge, which later became the council tax.
To avoid paying the Tax many refused to sign the Electoral Register but this also stop those marginalised in society from Voting in the Elections – this enable the Tories to get re-elected into government by removing poorer people from the Electoral Register
The 2011 England riots, more widely known as the London Riots, were a series of riots between 6 and 11 August 2011, when thousands of people rioted in cities and towns across England, which saw looting, arson, and mass deployment of police, and resulted in the deaths of five people.
Protests started in Tottenham, London, following the death of Mark Duggan, a local man who was shot dead by police on 4 August. Several violent clashes with police ensued, along with the destruction of police vehicles, a double-decker bus and many homes and businesses, thus rapidly gaining attention from the media. Overnight, looting took place in Tottenham Hale retail park and nearby Wood Green. The following days saw similar scenes in other parts of London, with the worst rioting taking place in Hackney, Brixton, Walthamstow, Peckham, Enfield, Battersea, Croydon, Ealing, Barking, Woolwich, Lewisham and East Ham.
From 8 to 10 August, other towns and cities in England (including Birmingham, Bristol, Coventry, Derby, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, West Bromwich, and Wolverhampton) saw what was described by the media as “copycat violence”, with social media playing a role. By 10 August, more than 3,000 arrests had been made across England, with more than 1,000 people issued with criminal charges for various offences related to the riots. Initially, courts sat for extended hours.
There were a total of 3,443 crimes across London that were linked to the disorder. Along with the five deaths, at least 16 others were injured as a direct result of related violent acts. An estimated £200 million worth of property damage was incurred, and local economic activity – which in many cases was already struggling due to the recession – was significantly compromised.
The riots have generated significant ongoing debate among political, social, and academic figures about the causes and context in which they happened. Attributions for the rioters’ behaviour include social factors such as racial tension, class tension, economic decline, and the unemployment that decline had brought.
Only a Socialist Government based on Respect with a Planned Economy can get Britain out of this mess!
We need to lift people out of hunger, poverty, sickness and ignorance. Our planet’s eco-system must be rescued. Even under wasteful and destructive capitalism, the productive forces exist that could, if planned and utilised to meet human need instead of maximising capitalist profit, ensure sufficient food, nutrition, health care and education for all.
Never before in history have the rapid advances in science and technology provided such opportunities for the all-round development of every human being. But while it has proved possible, from time to time, to curb capitalism’s tendencies to crisis, pandemic deprivation unemployment and war, those tendencies have always reasserted themselves because they arise from the nature of the capitalist system itself. The capitalist economic cycle produces gluts, crises, cut-backs, redundancies and then shortages before beginning all over again. We can not allow economic crisis to allow a busness as normal mentality. The anarchy of the capitalist economy in general militates against society’s need for planned, balanced, equitable and sustainable development across countries, regions and the whole world.
Since society first became divided into classes, the ruling class of the time has used the oppression of sections of the exploited classes to maximise exploitation and reinforce its rule. Under capitalism, the oppression of women, black workers and other groups has reaped super-profits and helped ensure the reproduction of existing class relations economically, ideologically and politically – not least by fomenting or perpetuating divisions within the working class itself.
Such oppression is sustained by sets of prejudicial ideas and assumptions, for example those of sexism and racism. These ideologies apply across class boundaries, affecting members of the oppressed group in every class, although their impact is felt most severely by those in the exploited classes.
Poverty Inequality Crisis and Covid-19 – It’s time for Societal & Governmental Change
Respect For the Unemployed & Benefit Claimants
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