Child Poverty Action Group\’s own research shows just how inadequate benefits are and why Currie\’s claim that people are struggling because they\’re wasting their money on lottery tickets and cigarettes is absurd. A family of two adults and one child on out-of-work benefits can expect to receive £186 a week (after housing costs). That\’s only 65% of the official breadline.
I don\’t actually know of a number used in the UK as meaning \”breadline\”. The only poverty numbers we\’ve got are, I think at least, one for relative poverty and one for absolute poverty.
Relative poverty is 60% of median equivalised household income after housing costs and £186 a week is in fact 65% of that if median household income is £25,000 (which isn\’t in fact far off it).
So, in arguing against the statement (made by Edwina Currie which it isn\’t a pleasant occupation trying to defend) that we don\’t really have absolute poverty, of the kind where people are \”Are you telling me people in this country are going hungry? Seriously? Seriously?\”, using the fact that we have relative poverty isn\’t really an answer, is it?
And as to food, yes, I\’ve been very cash poor (I won\’t say \”poor\” as given background, accent, education etc the option not to be cash poor while trying to get a business going etc has always been there, just go and get a decently paid job) and as JohnB often argues, food, good nourishing tasty food, just isn\’t expensive. You can most certainly feed two adults and a child on £10 a day and given a bit of time and planning, £5 a day is simple enough.
Sure, you\’re having stews of scrag ends and risottos and pastas and, well, the peasant foods that our forefathers all lived on becuase they\’re both cheap and nourishing. All that\’s changed is that we have available to us the peasant foods from multiple cuisines instead of being stuck with just the one.