Every potential Tory voter needs to hear from these children living in poverty

Cameron, featured on Dispatches

On 2 December, Channel 4‘s Dispatches is set to screen a documentary called Growing Up Poor: Britain’s Breadline Kids. It should be essential viewing for people who’re undecided about who to vote for, and for everyone considering voting Tory.

“We try not to eat a lot in one day”

Dispatches spent a year with three families. The film shows “what life is like if there’s just not enough money for life’s essentials”.

Ahead of the broadcast, a clip shared on Twitter features children from one of those families. It shows Caitlin, Casey and Cameron. Cameron says:

We try not to eat a lot in one day. Even though most of us are really hungry. We have to be careful with our food.

He goes on to explain how his family use foodbanks “because we don’t have a lot of money”. As his sister says: “So that place is helping us a lot”. Later she explains:

I think I want people with more money to understand what it’s like with less money. I want them to understand that it’s difficult. People with more money can help people with less money. Because we’re all equal and stuff.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stressed:

Read on...

Make no mistake, the Tories are responsible for this.

Tory “austerity is a political choice”

As of 2016/17, 30% of children – 4.1 million – were living in poverty in the UK. 67% of those children had a parent in work. Many working parents claim Universal Credit. As The Canary previously reported, Universal Credit has forced some people to use foodbanks and made others homeless. In April, the Trussell Trust revealed that foodbank use in the UK had hit a record high. In July, it said:

Over a third of all emergency food parcels distributed by food banks in the Trussell Trust’s UK-wide network go to children

In 2018, UN special rapporteur Philip Alston concluded an investigation into the impact of austerity and poverty in the UK. Alston pointed out that, far from creating any sort of “caring” or “compassionate” benefits system, there was an “ideological” motivation behind welfare cuts. He also said:

The state does not have your back any longer. You are on your own.

Significantly, Alston also found that the impact of austerity and welfare cuts has:

fallen disproportionately upon the poor, women, racial and ethnic minorities, children, single parents, and people with disabilities.

Many people drew attention to such facts after seeing the Dispatches clip:

It doesn’t have to be like this

The Labour manifesto promises that the party “will end food bank Britain, and lift children and pensioners out of poverty”. It says a Labour government will:

halve food bank usage within a year and remove the need for them altogether in three years.

The manifesto also calls Universal Credit “a catastrophe”, stressing that it’s:

pushed thousands of people into poverty, caused families to lose their homes and forced parents to visit food banks in order to feed their children.

Labour will scrap UC. We will immediately stop moving people onto it and design an alternative system that treats people with dignity and respect.

There’s a chance to help Cameron, Caitlin, and Casey on 12 December. For the 4.1 million children living in poverty, people can vote the Tories out once and for all.

Featured image via screengrab

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us