10 Days Remaining

Thursday 19th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

by Joana Ramiro and Roger Bagley

VICIOUS Con-Dem wreckers have forced a third of Britain below the poverty line, with tens of millions of people unable to heat their homes, afford a place to live or meals and clothes for their families.

Experts from Britain’s top universities revealed yesterday that the gulf between rich and poor has exploded since the coalition came to power in 2010. And conditions for those at the bottom have become ever more dire.

Study head Professor David Gordon, of the Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research at the University of Bristol, said the Con-Dems had “clearly failed” to reduce poverty in Britain.

Researchers from universities including Oxford and York found that 21 million people are unable to heat their homes, 18 million cannot afford appropriate housing, 5.5 million go without needed clothes and 4 million don’t have the money to eat properly.

And 30 per cent of the adults questioned said they’d gone without food so others in their household could eat.

“These shocking figures expose the breathtaking scale of the shift in wealth from millions of ordinary people to the very richest few, thanks to a calculated policy by the coalition government and its Cabinet of millionaires,” stormed People’s Assembly national secretary Sam Fairbairn.

“If anyone needed a reason then this evidence is reason enough to march in London this Saturday with the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, demanding an alternative and an end to the poverty which shames us all.”

Researchers found that the Tory-imposed poverty made it impossible for many people to hold on to normal social lives and had been priced out of services such as museums, youth clubs and evening classes.

“It is worrying that in the 21st century more than 40 per cent of households who want to use meals on wheels or special transport cannot do so due to unavailability, unaffordability or inadequacy,” said Herriott-Watt University Professor Glen Bramley.

The study also made clear how full-time work is not always enough to sustain people’s livelihoods.

Labour MP and anti-austerity campaigner Ian Mearns told the Morning Star how just last week official figures showed average incomes were being further depressed north-east England.

Across the country one in six people in paid work is now “multiply deprived” — unable to afford enough food, heating, clothing and other essentials.

“It is our duty as public representatives to expose the untruths peddled by the government and to make everyone aware of what is happening to so many people in our society,” said the Gateshead MP.

Oxfam poverty chief Rachael Orr said that the report “confirms our own findings when speaking to families across the country, who tell us about their struggle to eat and survive on a low income.

“The fact that full-time work is not always sufficient to escape from poverty is a serious concern and governments over the last 30 years have not done enough to tackle the root causes of rising poverty in this country.”