Advanced search feel slightly annoyed when people claim to be "living in poverty"

(420 Posts)
ihateconflict Wed 27-Feb-13 16:22:14

...and have huge TVs/smoke/drink/have a holiday abroad each year/wear designer clothes and shoes and handbags, and have all the latest electronic gadgets. In contrast, as a "middle class" (hate this label) professional living in an expensive area, i cant afford any of the above (dont smoke or drink, so dont include those). We havent had any holiday for 5 years, let alone one abroad. AND, when DCs were at school, their friends with EMA allowance were the ones who had driving lessons for their 17th birthday, and cars for their 18th birthday. My DCs had to pay for own driving lessons, and didnt get cars until they finished uni and were earning. I am full of sympathy for those in "genuine" poverty, but somewhere priorities and definitions seem a bit wrong

Darkesteyes Fri 01-Mar-13 20:51:31

We have a Freesat box too. DH bought it because our old Sky box was a Grundig that never worked properly and kept freezing.

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 20:45:18

Quite. Incidentally, we have a Freesat box because in our old house we had no TV reception except through a dish that was already there. When we moved Freesat box came with us to be hooked up to another existing dish.

And I really had no idea how essential the internet has become for modern life until we were without it for so long. Dial up is a joke and VERY expensive. I spent nearly every lunch time at work for 8 months just administering our lives - not fun.

Darkesteyes Fri 01-Mar-13 20:40:56

Agree gaelic. We have a satellite dish on the side of our flat but it hasnt been in use since 2005.
Ive not seen any new tvs that are non-flatscreen for years

gaelicsheep Fri 01-Mar-13 20:37:27

This ridiculous attitude about sources of entertainment needs knocking on the head. We are not living in poverty by any means, but we are certainly not feeling that well off right now and we rely on home entertainment of one sort or another as we can't afford to go out, ever.

TV - small flatscreen TV - they are pretty much all flatscreens these days aren't they?
Satellite dish - don't assume these mean a Sky subscription, let alone an "expensive" Sky subscription - ours is Freesat, the dish was inherited with the house
DVD player - we can't afford to go to the cinema at all ever
Broadband - anyone who says the poor shouldn't have this should try living without it. We were without internet for 8 months when we moved here, no 3G either, and it was seriously miserable not to mention more expensive as we couldn't research the cheapest deals for anything, couldn't pay bills online, etc. etc.

It's all very well people talking as they do about free museums, libraries etc. Well we use the library loads - much more since I can find and reserve books online. Museums and other attractions, unless you are in a city, tend to involve transport costs. That rules them out for us on all but the most special occasions.

We cannot be unusual. So I wish people would stop being so mean spirited, unless they really really do mean that so-called "poor" people should have no contact with the outside world whatsoever.

Writehand Fri 01-Mar-13 18:23:41

Yes, Ineedagoldennickname, TV is one of the cheapest entertainments. And many poor people live in places where the world outside their home is very unwelcoming. The worst place I ever lived in to be poor was London. There are the many brilliant galleries & museums in London, as well as lovely parks, but if you're poor you tend not to live anywhere near them and without money it's a barren place. London only wants you when you've got money to spend.

I grew up in Bath which is a lovely place in which to be poor - beauty everywhere you look and endless parks. Bountiful seating too, for when the weather's nice.

IneedAgoldenNickname Fri 01-Mar-13 17:56:49

That's a good point about the need for TVs Writehand my (basic) sky subscription costs the same per month as a trip to the cinema, I know which we benefit from more! And I'm lucky enough to live somewhere with a river and a park in walking distance, although that's only any use when it's warm and dry outside.

My bil recently told me I shouldn't be allowed sky TV as I'm on benefits mind you he seems to think we should bring back the workhouses!

Writehand Fri 01-Mar-13 16:27:08

Of course poor families spend on TVs. Caitlin Moran, a journalist who grew up in a very cash-strapped family, wrote a brilliant article explaining her families priorities. Sadly only Times subscribers can read it.

She pointed out if you've no car, and no money for fares, if you live in an area where there's nothing in the way of parks or open spaces, where there's a lot of crime and crap in the streets, and you can't ever afford to go out bowling, swimming, cinema -- none of these things are open to you -- ever -- let alone affording holidays or school trips -- then getting as nice a TV as you can is a no-brainer.

Her whole family depended on TV and the library for pretty much their entire recreation. TV can be shared, their whole family would talk about what was on, it's indoors away from gangs, you only have to heat one room.

Living in poverty in the UK doesn't mean starving half-naked in a shanty, which is good. It's poverty compared to the mainstream rather than absolute destitution. But there are plenty of people skipping meals in the UK to give their kids a decent diet.

PavlovtheCat Fri 01-Mar-13 14:41:29

and it's only going to get worse this 'not really poverty' as emergency help like crisis loans get reduced to one (two max if your lucky) per year, so, if you are unfortunate enough to lose your job and your benefits take weeks to get sorted, you have no emergency back up to help you through that period. If you have had to leave a violent partner, you can be left without money for weeks under this new policy.

If, with ESA appeals changes, you are unfortunate enough to need to claim ESA, but they deem you fit to work, you cannot continue claiming assessment ESA any more, and cannot appeal until DWP decide to re-open your ESA assessment. The only thing you can do is apply for JSA in the meantime, wait (as long as a piece of string) for DWP to make a decision a re-open the ESA assessment stage, and only then can you appeal. BUT, you are very likely to be refused JSA if you have a sick note from your GP (which you need to re-apply for ESA) because you are deemed 'unfit to actively seek work'. Which means, the poor, unwell people will become poorer and sicker.

In my local area, the use of foodbanks for both families on benefits and working families who cannot make ends meet has increased at least 10fold these last few months. In my area you cannot get a foodbank voucher without being referred by an appropriate agency, so not like they are just pitching up and taking what they don't need. They have been deemed as vulnerable and in desperate need. They have had to appeal for more donations to the foodbank as the stocks have depleted far more quickly than ever before.

fromparistoberlin Fri 01-Mar-13 14:35:10

cant people see thats as with everything its not black and white

(a) some people live in appalling poverty, and need and deserve state help

(b) some people do take the piss of the benefits system, and it needs to be adressed unfortunately

(c) whatever we do we need to take into account that people in both categories have children, so we do need to be somewhat undiscriminatory so that their children dont suffer

the 3 above factors ALL exist within the UK today

a recession is not helping and frankly it appears that alot of people who are (a) get classified at being (b)

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 01-Mar-13 14:24:20

well done Polly! grin

Cooroo Fri 01-Mar-13 14:22:38

If you've actually come across this, then you're not being unreasonable.

Jealous? No. But I'm 53, worked hard all my life, and manage a holiday abroad maybe once in 5 years. I guess it's about priorities?

LaQueen Fri 01-Mar-13 14:21:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 01-Mar-13 14:16:17

Aud the situation with UC is awful. I never realised this was going to happen. They say it is to replicate how folk in work are paid. Well I have always been paid monthly on pay day so often in advance for at least a portion of the month. They are utter freaks.

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 01-Mar-13 14:07:30

LaQ my old Golf had started to let me down and had been back to the garage 6 times in the last 6 months. I have been talking about trading it in for a bit now but one of the reasons I didn't was because DS1 was very attached to her and kept begging me not to. She was called Mrs White and had a good wide girth on her much like my good self! In fact last night DS2 was comforting his brother and saying 'don't be sad about mummys new car it will be OK' and stoking him. It was soooo sweet as he is only just 3

Darkesteyes Fri 01-Mar-13 14:03:06

Here it is.

ChocolateCakePleaseFri 01-Mar-13 13:11:34

"There seems to be a habit of denying whats happening on your own doorstep (brilliantly demonstrated by Chocolate on that other thread.) The Americans do it too. Pretending that the huge "tent cities" dont exist.
And people tend to vote for what they aspire to be than rather what they actually are (both here and in the US) there seems to be a terrible ingrained snobbery in society now."

Darkesteyes- how dare you try and portray me as some sort of poor hater who doesn't beleive there are poor people in the country. The only thing i was pointing out in the other thread was people use the word poverty instead of poor, i never said people weren't in dire straits and many many posts on the thread demonstated this. When you want to paint someone a certain way it's very easy to overlook what they are actually saying and just go for the obvious "they must hate poor people and don't believe they exist" nonsense.

I help my husband run his food business - at the end of each day instead of either throwing it away, selling it unfresh the next day and posing it as fresh or reducing it the next day to make some money from it we donate it all to a local night shelter. We don't advertise the fact we do this to our community, it just gets done.

I don't sell things the kids no longer use or that i use - i donate it to charity, give it to friends or give it to others i may know who i think will like it. Not because i am rolling in it nor because i couldn't use the extra money, not to be smug or patronising - I do it because i see there are people in desperate need for it and will really apprieciate it, especially being from a very background myself i know how much people need it. Last week i gave a lady at work a couple of In the night garden duvet covers (that my kids were grown up out of night garden.) Now i could have just put them on ebay and got a few quid for them but instead i knew this lady has 2 kids of that age who would really adore these covers and the lady was so grateful because she is very hard up and her kids were very happy.

I also volunteer at a family support group where i see weekly families who are vunerable (especially with mental health, a cause close to my heart.) Plus i do something where i visit pentioners so they have someone to talk to. I enjoy talking to older people as they are very interesting and again it's something close to my heart.

So don't paint me to be some cold hearted person with no compassion just because i was (pointlessly) trying to use the word poor instead of poverty on the other thread. I am not rich by any mean and i always help those who need things and help where i can.

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crashdollFri 01-Mar-13 13:20:55

I'm glad you stuck up for yourself Chocolate, it's really poor form to do what the poster did!

Darkesteyes Fri 01-Mar-13 13:57:29

Sock Chocolate has just drip fed into the compassion thread and twisted it so it looks like im the one being horrible.

LaQueen Fri 01-Mar-13 13:48:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eminemmerdale Fri 01-Mar-13 13:47:11

I am really worried that there will be riots and situations of sheer desperation soon. How will the country deal with these? When people actually have so little left to lose or care about that they will start causing serious mayhem in the streets sad

maidmarian2012 Fri 01-Mar-13 12:27:53

I also did not consider people with mortgages, who will get not much help, so that has to come out of benefits, and yes, babies are VERY expensive. Im sorry blush [stdavid]

maidmarian2012 Fri 01-Mar-13 12:20:32

Im sorry if I have offended anyone, I wasn't on these benefits long, thankfully, and no, my washer/oven/fridge did not go kapoot at the time luckily. If it had, then I would have been truly stuffed.

<<Loosens judgypants>>

I may have been a touch judgemental about a certain portion of society (Who seem to spend all their money on booze and fags, they DO exist) and did not mean to upset anyone who is in need or genuinely poor. sad

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 01-Mar-13 11:32:12


You have a vile attitude and a total lack of comprehension as to the impact of a combination of financially restrictive suituations as opposed to just the restrictions you personally believe in.

Every single justification you are posting makes it worse, are you really so uninformed about what real life is to some people today in the uk that you cannot get your head round it?

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 01-Mar-13 09:17:58

Chocolate - "its white"
Everyone else - "well actually you will find that its not so cut and dry, so several shades between white and black"
Chocolate - "its white" ad nauseum

threebats Fri 01-Mar-13 08:12:37

Not gone through all the pages on this thread so apologies if a similar scope as mine on this has been already said -
I have had my heating on throughout winter for approx 2 hours per evening, I can't afford to pay the bill if its on longer, not if I desire my children and I to be able to use hot water and shower each day. At 6pm - we all flock about the radiators and sigh a contented sigh... WARMTH....
Shopping is a joke, its too hard to get food that we love and enjoy so we simply just get - well, food. Filling food. So we are not starving all the time.
I have three children - each have a laptop.
They are in college and without a laptop each they would never get their work done on time. They have to take this in with them, they work on it. Everything is done via a computer and dongle and even student absence is now done via the college website, you can't simply ring in anymore. The walk to the college is 7 miles by the way so not going to bloody walk there to tell them if one of the kids is sick.
I work by the way. I try my hardest to ensure we do not get into debt. Its not easy.... Poverty is not just a person sitting with a cardboard sign up on a street corner asking for change please.
Poverty is also those that work and try their best but the choice here, for my family at least was simple - heat and food or the children's continuing education - laptops for them and yes, one each. They are all on different courses, they all have homework and coursework and all work on them each day and evening. It would be impossible to expect them to share just one.
I have got precisely 55.67 to last me until 11 March OP - I have met my bills this month and got change in a jar for the kids bus fares - Could you feed 4 people on 55.67 for 11 days? Would you like to give it a go? I challenge you.

NC78 Fri 01-Mar-13 07:05:56

There are people in poverty in this country and it's going to get much, much worse...

But when the riots start because people are losing their homes and unable to eat, the Op will probably be saying 'but they can afford to make molotov cocktails so they can't really be poor!'

MrsKeithRichards Fri 01-Mar-13 07:02:39

chocolate phrases like to me my opinion I think are pretty irreverent when it comes to definitions of poverty. The definitions are there, poverty has been defined. Your opinion counts for Jack.

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