Fill yourself with festive cheer, for the deficit should be defunct in just a few more years!
The Government does indeed seem to be peacock-proud of its fiscal management which has manifested itself in the form of great optimism during the recent Autumn Statement.
Strange then that little mention should be made or focus placed upon the spiralling debt mountain that as a Nation, we the UK currently sit upon, or what might happen if economic forces beyond Osborne and the Bank of England dictate that borrowing money can no longer remain so inordinately cheap.
However, insulated as we may seem from the realities of an economic meltdown bluffingly put on hold whilst politicians still have the ability to do nothing more than concentrate on the next election, the fact is that the only real difference between the debt that the Government ‘manages’ on our behalf and the financial problems facing so many of the Voters who unwittingly put them there is that people living in the real world have no elaborate schemes or devices to hide the problems that they currently face.
Being in touch with the painful realities of UK life for those who have the worry of meeting their monthly bottom line is a gift which seems to have eluded many of the Political Class.
Only this week, Lord Freud intimated that Local Authorities should pick up responsibility for funding food banks; an act which in itself demonstrates the severe lack of understanding that those in Government have of the problems which people genuinely face.
It is all too clear that they have no idea what steps really need to be taken simply to arrest the backward slide in living standards which is already stretching far beyond the realms of the financially poor. It is an unspoken truth that is changing the way that just about everyone without the joy of having a surplus income before pay day are having to cope with, each and every month.
Localism has of course given the lie to the idea that more and more services and methods of support will be provided at local level, by local organisations for local people.
What the Localism Agenda doesn’t contain within all the talk that has gone with it however, is that whilst Westminster politicians audibly pass the buck to their Local Authority counterparts with one hand, they are systematically stripping them of the resources and ability to maintain their existing responsibilities with the other.
Without cutting existing services, raising Council Tax beyond 5%, using savings, cashing in publically owned property or borrowing, there is simply no way that Local Authorities can take on a National problem locally without outside help to do it. And when the only politicians that have the ability to tackle the causes of the problems facing so many people head on are sat in London, it is at best disingenuous if not bordering on pure fantasy to even hint that the real cost of living crisis is something which confines itself to communities at a very local level.
People would be starving right now, were it not for the tremendous efforts of the organisations and individuals who are working so hard to help those many people who are already experiencing a regular sequence of hours in need.
Food banks are a treatment for a problem, but by no means a cure.
Ministers really must start recognising this now, rather than seeming to be content to do little more than pretend that the problem doesn’t exist; or worse still, to behave in such a way to suggest that the many people experiencing both the extremities and day-to-day realities of contemporary poverty have somehow knowingly chosen to be there.
If you have found this article whilst researching food banks, further information about Tewkesbury Food bank can be found at www.tewkesbury.foodbank.org.uk or for those in other areas, please see this link on the Trussell Trust Website.
Top Image thanks to source unknown