As the Tories ‘make millions’ in Manchester, 20% of UK workers go without food
As wealthy Conservatives gather for their four-day conference in Manchester from 29 September, research shows that one in five workers has to skip meals to make ends meet. The number of people missing out on meals has increased “by more than half in two years”.
The Conservatives seem hell-bent on forcing through a no-deal Brexit. The outcome of which could inflict more misery on British people. But in the coming days, the Conservative Party is to “make millions” in Manchester, as it opens its conference to lobbyists. Meanwhile, working people go hungry and some are forced to use foodbanks.
Poll results and austerity
In 2019, UN poverty expert Philip Alston warned that Conservative austerity condemns people to lives that are:
solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
And TUC findings seem to bear that out. Because it’s not just meals that people are missing out on. The findings show:
- 19% went without heating during the cold.
- 10% couldn’t pay their rent or mortgage on time.
- 20% pawned or sold something to get money.
Also, 30% of workers say they wouldn’t be able to pay an unexpected bill. And of those that could pay, 24% said they would need to either borrow or sell something to pay it.
The minimum wage
The highest hourly rate currently stands at £8.21 for over 25s. Labour promises to introduce a real living wage of £10 per hour and to ban zero-hour contracts.
Low wages aren’t the only thing causing hardship for working people. The existence of zero-hours contracts does so too. Because zero-hours contracts mean employees aren’t guaranteed stable hours of work. This could result in zero pay where most people need to claim universal credit to try to supplement their income which can be problematic if on a zero-hours contract. So this means working people can neither afford basic necessities, nor know how much, or if, they’ll earn each week.
By contrast in June, millionaire prime minister Boris Johnson showed he didn’t know much about the minimum wage in the UK. Johnson claimed it was already “at or around £10 or so”. He also refused to commit to raising it.
This situation is unforgivable in a country as wealthy as the UK. And the UK is in the middle of a wealth boom despite being the fifth most unequal country in Europe. Yet, worryingly, many people on low incomes are now more vulnerable to a recession than they were in 2008. So we desperately need a government that will improve working conditions and end inequality.
The Conservatives may boast about falling unemployment rates, but this means nothing to people in low-paid, insecure jobs. Its clearly too detached from ordinary people to do anything about it. So the time for a credible alternative is long overdue.
Featured image via YouTube – Guardian News / STUC1 – YouTube
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.
Leave a ReplyYou must be logged in to leave a comment.Join the conversation
Please read our comment moderation policy here.