It’s getting worse.” WORRIES AHEAD OF WINTER Mould said that increasing numbers of people in Britain are living on incomes that are insufficient to cover the rising costs of food, gas and electricity, fuel, transport and other basic necessities. Disposable incomes have fallen, when adjusted for inflation, since the global financial crisis erupted in 2007-2008. But the cost of necessities has risen gas and electricity costs are up 30 percent in real terms since 2007. The trust says many people this winter will choose between “eating and heating.” “People at food banks have started giving back food items that need cooking because they can’t afford to turn on the electricity,” the trust said in a statement. The British Red Cross announced last week it would have 30,000 volunteers help in a massive food drive at the end of November. The Red Cross hasn’t been involved in food distribution on a wide scale in Britain since World War II. IMPACT OF AUSTERITY The stress on the poor has increased since Britain’s coalition government, elected in 2010, imposed tough spending cuts and tax increases intended to reduce the budget deficit. That government has cut welfare payments, forced many low-income residents to pay local government tax for the first time, and imposed a new fee for public housing tenants with spare bedrooms. Treasury chief George Osborne has acknowledged that the austerity has proven to be hard on the country and that recovery is taking “longer than anyone hoped.” But the government insists the pain is a short-term necessity for the country’s long-term economic well-being. Among those struggling is Tim Day, 30, who lives off odd jobs and visited one of the trust’s distribution centers at the United Reformed Church in Bromley on Tuesday. Between temporary work contracts, Day was grateful for a three-day supply of food including orange juice, vegetables, and porridge. But he’s always worried about making ends meet. “It’s stressful,” he said, describing the constant ups and downs that come without the certainty of a full-time job.
Demand for Food Aid Spikes in Britain
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the food stamp program has kept about 4 million above the poverty line and has been a lifeline to millions of others already in poverty. If the Republican cuts were to go into effect, 4 million people would be kicked off the food stamp program next year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and another 3 million would be dropped annually in subsequent years. In other words, instead of achieving Stutzmans goal of lifting families out of poverty, the reductions would drive millions more into poverty. As usual, the problem is that tea party conservatives are setting fire to a straw man. The real world they think they know so much about is a fact-free bubble floating above reality. The imagined problem is that there are millions of freeloading bums living large with the daily $4.50 they get for food, but here is the truth about who receives food stamps: Almost half of them are children. The elderly make up 8%, and about 20% are disabled. The 24% who are able-bodied adults without children cannot receive more than three months of benefits in a three-year period unless they work at least 20 hours per week. Immigrants in the country illegally a.k.a. illegal aliens cannot receive food stamps. Contrary to a common perception, about 50% of recipients are white. A key fact: The cost of the food stamp program has ballooned over the last five years because of the sharp jump in unemployment due to the Great Recession. Many of those people are still living on food stamps, not because they have been made lazy by feasting on the meager meals the program allows them to buy, but because people on the low end of the economic ladder are always the last to be rehired.Making it even harder for them to put food on the table is not going to miraculously open up the job market. Only Jesus could perform that kind of miracle.
Majority of fast-food households are using welfare assistance, Medicaid: report
No other industry has such a large portion of its work force drawing federal assistance, the report found. The revelations are further evidence that Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio is on target when he champions a living wage for the working poor as critical to improving the citys economy. RELATED: JIMMY CARTER: MIDDLE CLASS TODAY RESEMBLES PASTS POOR Despite pleas from the citys financial elite to moderate his rhetoric on wages, de Blasio plans to appear with fast-food workers at a press conference Wednesday in front of a Burger King in downtown Brooklyn. On the heels of the new report, the Democratic front-runner is calling on lawmakers to investigate how low-wage jobs drain government safety net programs. Since the Great Recession of 2008, 60% of all new jobs in the country have been low-wage service jobs. And no one is producing them faster than the giant fast-food chains. Median wages for nonmanagerial workers in that industry are a meager $8.69 an hour, with nine of 10 employees not covered by health insurance, the Berkeley researchers found. RELATED: WILLETS POINT PROPOSAL FAILS ‘EQUITY TEST’ We have too many, low-quality, no-benefit jobs in the country, period, said economist Sylvia Allegretto, one of the authors of the report. Tionnie Cross, 29, has one of those jobs. After more than two years of being unemployed, she landed a job earlier this year for $7.35 an hour at a McDonalds in Brooklyn. Cross depends on Medicaid for health insurance and on the city to provide her subsidized rent under a supportive housing program.