For too long, relative poverty, high debt and cost have living v low income has been ignored, or brushed under the carpet, and now it is clearly evident that a significant portion of society simply cannot afford to ‘ride the storm’ for a few weeks or a few months, in what should be a time, where people should not be too fearful of their survival to self-isolate, close businesses and protect the most vulnerable adults in society from catching the virus and losing their lives; whilst those on the front-line trying to save them, are increasingly vulnerable too. It should be quite easy to slow this and stay home, but the cracks were already there, and already too deep, where finances simply do not permit people to put health first.
I have long said that our Government lack the relevant qualifications to properly manage the country for its constituents, and I do not mean offence by that, I simply mean that they do not have the relevant experience of what it means to live in the real world, where money does not flow, and is not accessible for millions.
I have been glued to Parliament TV as pledges have been made to help businesses with rate relief, grants and loans, and I have watched our local MP’s crying out for the workforce, the self-employed, the sole-traders, the people who live week to week, and those who have been forced and imprisoned into the rental sector, who are now extremely vulnerable.
Many of my members are Single Mums in Business, some of them are okay but some of them are like me, and have come through extreme adversity and as such their credit files have been adversely affected. I can tell you that none of these business loans, or normal loans, are being offered to those with adverse credit, and they have not been for a long-time. Your credit score has the ability to end your life, and as such make it impossible for you to self isolate.
There has been talk of benefits and SSP, and of course that is great that that is there, but it is a very small amount, enough probably to eat, but only week to week and so when those who stock pile empty the shelves, it is very heart-breaking indeed. And then of course you need to apply, and this takes time, many of my members have worked so hard to generate self-employed income as they have faced barriers to work with childcare, and that income has stopped over night, even worse, refunds have been issued, and so some members are picking up the phone to ask for support – the phone lines are clogged, it is physically unmanageable. Hunger and desperation are immediate and loans are not accessible.
As I have said, for too long adverse credit, relative poverty and the real hardship of the working class has been ignored, credit scores have been able to ruin lives, banks have been freely charging people from week to week for struggling so hard, and pay day loan companies have been taking advantage further worsening credit scores leaving people id dire straits.
I have lived this life for so long and I am so grateful that I have been open enough about it to be able to talk about it now without fear or shame… when you face barriers to work you do what you can, but cost of living v low pay mean that you simply do not have savings, a rainy day fund, or access to credit, and for that reason people cannot self-isolate and people are dying.
The ignorance of the wealth divide will now cost lives, the charges of the banks will now cost lives, the lack of relevant experience of the Government will now cost lives, the credit scoring system will now cost lives. My fear is the working class who have been the cogs of the wheel, will now face such desperation that if help is not dished out emotionally and financially, will simply lose the will to live.
Money should not cause death, but it does, and it will.
My heart bleeds for those who have left it too late..
*publishing without proofreading, apologies for typos