Recent government figures show the extent of poverty in this, one of the richest nations on the planet. The previous government set the target of cutting in half by 2010 the number of people living in poverty. It miserably failed, the figures for 2008/09 show the number of people in this country living in poverty amounted to 10.9 million, 18% of the population. A marginal decrease from the previous year. Of course in this rich capitalist country, working does not necessarily mean that you lead the good life. You can be employed and still need to have your income topped up by taxpayers money, in fact we are subsidising your employer who fails to pay you a living wage. This sink of poverty is spread across the full spectrum of the population, taking in children, adults and pensioners.
The number of children living in poverty in this country is a staggering 2.8 million, 22% of the child population of the country. Pensioners after their life of working producing the wealth of this country come out no better. 18% of pensioner couples, 18% of single male pensioners and a shameful 25% of single female pensioners are all struggling in that sink of poverty.
If those with their rose tinted glasses expect to see the manicured twins now in charge, wave a magic wand and make poverty disappear, they are going to be miserably disappointed. With the cut and slash plans they are spouting, what we can expect is a revisit to the Victorian era. Ask yourself, when has this rich capitalist country ever been rid of poverty? What makes you think that keeping the same capitalist system that has mired millions in poverty will somehow transform itself into a benevolent system that will see to the needs of all?
We don’t need a change of faces at No.10, we don’t need a pair of photogenic, privileged public school boys to fiddle about with some figures, making sure that the wealth stays right where it is at the moment. NO, we need a complete change of system, an end to the free market capitalist winner take all and to hell with the hindmost. We need to organise to take control of our communities, work places and assets, and organise society so that we can see to the needs of all our people,. We need to build a society based on mutual aid, free association, voluntary co-operation and sustainability. We either do that, or we face a future of more poverty for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.