Poor Kids, the unseen, unheard victims.

8 06 2011

It’s easy for the majority of people to ignore the plight of the “Poor Kids”. If it’s not on your doorstep then it doesn’t have to affect you, right?

Well BBC1 just aired a programme Poor Kids which highlighted the stories of some children who make up the 3.5 million children living in poverty.

No doubt there will be those who believe it was artistic license but I can assure you, at least for the 18% of Glasgow residents living in poverty, it’s not art, this is life and a pretty dreary one at that.

It’s disgusting to think that in this day and age we allow children to live in homes riddled with damp, to the extent it affects their health. A statistic provided by the programme stated 47% of children with asthma come from the poorest 10% of homes. A clear link between poor standards of living and health and yet, nothing changes for them. No one cares about them. The government does nothing but punish them.

They are children. They are innocent. They do not deserve this.

I wonder how much of the decision to move the Glasgwegian family on the programme to a nice new house in Drumchapel was because of the TV cameras? It gets one family out of the substandard housing hell but what about the thousands of other families? The reputation of Glasgow Housing Association is in tatters and they are now being talked about across Britain for leaving their tenants in horrific uninhabitable conditions. Will this change anything? Will it hell!

Its been like this for years. It will remain like this for years. These families live in conditions with facilities that were considered poor decades ago. The thing is, the family in the programme were not an isolated case. There are thousands of people in Glasgow living in shit conditions and they are the most vulnerable in society. The empty fridges were not a tv gimmick, that is how some people live and we allow it.

And the understanding of the upcoming cuts to benefits by these children was better than most unaffected adults. Adults who don’t have to count every single penny to see if they can afford to have dinner that night, or if they can have electricity or heating just don’t understand this hardship. Families are given little more than £100 a week and expected to survive on it.

It’s a tragedy.

Faisal Islam of Channel 4 News wrote a blog on the rising energy bills for households, claiming the average energy bill will be in the region of £2000 per annum per household. A single person in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance gets £67 cash a week or just over £3500 a year. There is absolutely no way they will be able to pay the average household fuel bill and eat. Yet no one seems to care. A single parent family of 3 will have a maximum benefit of £10k p/a  and that’s before the upcoming cuts to the welfare system.

It’s a depressing situation for adults and it must seem impossible to escape from.

What’s worse is the depressing and negative outlook these children have for their future. One girl ended the programme claiming she didn’t want to grow up. How sad is it that a child doesn’t see a positive future for herself?

I worry about the regression of certain sections of society. I worry that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer and yet its the poor that are hammered hardest with the government’s deficit reduction strategies. It gets stated over and over again but it’s never stated enough… : WHY SHOULD THE POOR FOOT THE BILL FOR THE RICH BANKERS WHO FUCKED UP THE ECONOMY?

And if that wasnt loud enough I’ll say it again.


It is a shameful state of affairs. We should be ashamed for allowing this to happen. People really don’t seem to understand how stuck these families are. Childcare is extortionate, especially in Glasgow, where waiting lists for nursery places are upwards of 6 months. That doesn’t bode well for an adult taking any minimum wage job that turns up, that is, if there are any minimum wage jobs available. What employer will wait for a nursery place to turn up? With competition averaging 11 people for every vacancy, higher for graduate jobs, it just makes a dreary situation even worse.

Speaking with friends who are in similar situations to those on the television programme, they feel so helpless. Childfree they would be in a position to take more jobs, jobs with antisocial hours or shift work but as childcare doesnt operate 24 hours and not everyone has a family they can rely on, they are stuck. Stuck yet blamed for the state of the economy.

Everyone talks about the vulnerable of society in terms of disabled and single parents but there are other unseen victims. The children. Those who cannot speak out. YET. Those who feel alienated by the very services and state on which they rely, will grow up apathetic and helpless. The situation will get so much worse.

And still the government charge ahead with their moronic cuts.




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