Grantham Journal letters: More people are in need of help
Last week The Journal reported that demand for the services of local foodbanks has shot up by a third in recent months.
Here we are, supposedly the fifth richest country on the planet, yet more and more people are being forced to rely on foodbanks to survive.
Reference was made to the sinister “Universal Credit” (UC), which seems to have been designed with even more than the usual amount of intentional cynicism. Apart from the well-known fact that claimants must wait six weeks (if they’re lucky) for their first payment, which will often create problems with rent arrears, there’s also the fact that UC payments to low-paid workers may automatically stop in any five week month (UC is based on four-week months) - forcing claimants to start all over again. That this pointless inconvenience was deliberately intended is obvious, because the guidance notes for those affected state “[Y]ou will be notified that your income is too high and you will no longer get universal credit. You can re-apply the following month”(1) - and face another six week wait. December is a five-week month.
There are countless other examples of the utter failure of the capitalist system that’s been ruining our country for four decades: destruction of manufacturing industries; looting of publicly-owned essential utilities such as energy, water and communications; ruin of essential public services such as our precious NHS; theft of state pensions amounting to tens of billions of pounds; and the abolition of free university education, heaping massive debts onto the shoulders of hundreds of thousands of young people.
The supposed wealth that Britain has is now significantly derived from the creation of a poisonous financial services industry which has facilitated tax-avoidance schemes that’s syphoned hundreds of billions of pounds into the offshore tax-havens of the super-rich - whilst countless normal people have to rely on foodbanks for their next meal. This outrageous situation has to stop.
I, and many others like me, have been writing for years about the fact that our great trusted capitalist leaders, who are ultimately responsible for all this, obviously cannot be trusted, and people really should stop voting for them. There are far, far better alternatives.
At the moment Labour under Corbyn and McDonnell is one good alternative, but the capitalist Blairites are waiting in the wings, poised to pounce. The Socialist Party is a good option, but is very small. The Greens have superb policies, but questionable leadership. Nevertheless, any of these options are much better than what we’ve got.