Work doesn’t pay & Birmingham families know it

 

humorous cartoon depicts Birmingham’s Labour council promise to keep burials free for the destitute in 2019

The proportion of people with a job who live in poverty went up for the third consecutive year to a record high.

Government data shows 1.4 million people across the West Midlands region were living in relative poverty between 2015/16 and 2017/18.

An article in the Birmingham Mail has reported that,

“Poverty has increased for children and pensioners over the last five years with some of the worst hardship in the West Midlands.

The study from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) said that, despite rising levels of employment, in-work poverty has also gone up because often people’s pay, hours, or both, are not enough.”

The report says that about 56% of those living in poverty were in working households, that seven in ten children who were in poverty had parents in work.

The Josef Roundtree Foundation (JRF) has said the poverty indicator it used is when a family has an income of less than 60 per cent of median UK income for their family type, after housing costs. Just over half of people in poverty are in a working family, compared to 39 per cent 20 years ago, according to the research.

JRF said 14 million people were living in poverty, including four million children and two million pensioners, up by 400,000 and 300,000 respectively over the past five years.

The report said people were more likely to be in poverty if they lived in certain parts of the UK, in a family where there is a disabled person or a carer, if they work in the hospitality or retail sector, or if they live in rented housing.

Distribution of private wealth

The richest 10 percent of households own 44.6 percent of private wealth in Britain, while the poorest 30 percent have less than 2 percent. The poorest ten percent have £18bn of non-property debt (credit cards, overdrafts, HP, etc) while the richest ten percent only have £11bn.

Socialists must never tire of telling people that the political system that we live under (capitalist imperialism) is the cause not only of the fabulous wealth of a tiny handful of leeches who live by exploiting the masses, but is the cause also of the misery, exploitation, ill health, etc that the mass of the workers experience to a greater degree year upon year.

Only a workers’ movement that replaces this parasitic set-up with a socialist planned economy can provide the solution – an economy that is geared towards providing a decent standard of living for all workers, and which will lay the foundations for a future world of peace and plenty.

Birmingham spends more burying the poor than any other city

labour budget birmingham worker.jpg

Earlier this year we reported how our Labour council’s progressive labour budget had frozen the cost of burials. Now it is revealed that the council stood to benefit the most from such a move – because Birmingham buries more paupers than any other city.

bbc birmingham pauper burials

Our city spent nearly £1 million on funerals known as ‘public health funerals’. These are given to those who have died alone, in poverty or without relatives to cover the cost of the burial. Birmingham buried 395 such people, that’s one for every 22 who were buried in the city. In the light of this, Labour’s generous budget commitment to keep the cost of burials low is shown up for what it is, pure self interest.

For more information see https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-46796036

and https://birminghamworker.org/2018/04/05/poverty-on-the-rise-as-birminghams-labour-council-freezes-burial-fees/