Department of Work and Pensions is in denial about the strong link between ill health and the Government's benefit reformsThe Secretary of Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group thanks Revd Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty for his consistent work on social justice throughout 2013 so far and before, and looks forward to campaigning with him in 2014.
Paul Nicolson writes:
This is my last email before the New Year. It is a letter published by the Church Times yesterday 20th December.
It sets up a description of the gross injustices imposed on the poorest people in the UK by the coalition government against which all our efforts will be pitched in 2014.If you do not do Christmas have a restful and happy break and get ready!,If you do have a restful and happy break and take courage from Christian leadership in several denominations, who have seen that the current unjust laws and structures cause hunger in cold and too costly homes, or homelessness, and must be changed.
With very best wishes to all,
or deliberately making the poorest people ill.
From the Revd Paul Nicolson
One of its many important comments reads: 'The poverty rate for the whole population was 21 per cent measured after housing costs are deducted (AHC) and 16 per cent measured before housing costs (BHC) are deducted. This gap of five percentage points is the highest it has been for a decade, and has been growing, although slowly, since the middle of the last decade."
The steadily increasing price and rent of a home is partly to blame. The growth of the gap is being reinforced by the Government's caps and cuts, and council tax. The high retail price of meeting human needs, the rent of a decent home, and taxation in the UK are now crushing a healthy life out of the AHC incomes of her poorest citizens.
A typical example is a 60-year-old, who wrote to Taxpayers Against Poverty, telling us that he had become ill and unemployed after 40 years' unbroken taxpaying employment. The £71.70-a-week unemployment benefit was paid after housing and council-tax benefit, and untaxed, until April this year. He now has to pay the bedroom tax and the council tax, which leaves him in debt and with £53.20.
Robust research undertaken by nutritionists at York University for Rowntree, and checked with users both on and off benefits, shows that the minimum income needed by a single adult for a healthy diet is £50.11 a week. He will be both cold and hungry this winter while worrying about how to pay his inevitable debts.
The BMJ published concern in January about the relation between foetal malnutrition and chronic disease in later life. Low birth weight and the UK's poverty incomes of women are linked; but the Department of Work and Pensions is in denial about the strong link between ill health and the debts, food and fuel poverty that are due to the Government's benefit reforms.
Taxpayers Against Poverty
93 Campbell Road
London N17 OBF
Please sign our petition celebrating Martin Luther King
Parliament is asked to debate the speech made by Martin Luther King 50 Years ago in Washington USA on the 28 August 1963 and to note that it can be applied to circumstances in Britain in August 2013. He said “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty
93 Campbell Road,
London N17 0BF
also at www.z2k.org
also at www.prohousingalliance.com