What is Poverty?
This is the judgement of the Governments ‘Rural Advocate’, Dr Stuart Burgess. He asserts that almost one million households in rural England live in poverty because they have incomes below the official poverty line of £16,492. The report thus talks of ‘shocking deprivation’ and hundreds of thousands of ‘disadvantaged individuals’ living in Britain’s rural areas. And it demands ‘action to support rural England’, saying ‘the people who live there are not prepared to be treated as second-class citizens’.
The ‘Rural Advocate’ also calls for more ‘affordable housing’, training opportunities for young people and financial support to provide care and services. He wants solutions to the problem of transport in rural areas, ‘where many have no option but to use cars’.
No option but to use cars?
Do they have to walk 20 miles for water every single day? Do they have to forage like animals for meagre grains of rice or morsels of rancid meat? Do they have to watch their young babies slowly starve to death at their arid and emaciated breasts? Do they have to watch their loved ones die lingering and painful deaths, ravaged by disease, devoid of hope?
Dr Burgess asserts that ‘nobody should be disadvantaged because of where they live’.
Quite so, Dr Burgess. Quite so.
I’m with Cranmer on this. Many people in this country are literally poor, but others are not really living in poverty. When you have a satellite dish on your roof you are not poor. When you can’t afford to put a meal on the table for your kids, then you’re poor.