The Cost-of-Living Crisis that our Politicians and Mainstream Media are now being forced to recognise is a life experience for many that is nothing new.
In fact, it is only because of the current circumstances that the Politicians and the Media have unwittingly encouraged that the situation is now beginning to become acute. The price to survive is starting to touch so many different areas of life, that the establishment can no longer avoid the truth that they find so unpalatable. The consequences of years of self-interest and inaction can no longer be kept out of sight.
Last Friday morning, Interviewers on BBC Breakfast News talked to paid carers and homecare companies struggling to find and provide staff to deliver a service that we may not want to accept that many of us at some point may need daily or perhaps more when we reach later life.
Social Care a political hot potato that is the subject of debate in its own right. But as an industry predominantly led by private profit-making companies, it offers perhaps one of the very best examples of how wage levels for staff in frontline hands-on roles are disproportionately low when considering the purpose that they fulfil.
Indeed, many of those who carry out this work require benefits or what are effective subsidies from the public purse in order that they can both work and survive.
Like many of the roles fulfilled by the people who are now beginning to struggle with the Cost-of-Living Crisis first hand, employed healthcare workers are being paid the Government set ‘National Living Wage’ or Minimum Wage, which from April will be £9.50 an hour, or £380.00 for a 40-Hour working week.
£19,760.00 per year simply isn’t enough for anyone to survive fully independently without support, benefits or going into debt on today’s terms.
There is a very important question that needs to be asked of our politicians: ‘Would you want to do, and would you enjoy doing a difficult and physically demanding job for a whole 40-Hour Week and then go to the shops and realise that food is a luxury that you cannot afford?’
The answer would of course be an unmitigated NO.
Whilst the rather obvious answer we would receive from our current Politicians would be sure to be accompanied by comments about all the benefits that are available to low wage earners to support them, there is another very important question the people ruling this Country should answer all of us too: ‘Why does the situation exist where Taxpayers are topping up millions of wages with benefits so that big and otherwise dysfunctional businesses can profit at levels which in most cases are absolutely obscene, given what they pay their frontline staff?’
Paradoxically, the work and effort that it takes those who are able to achieve wage levels that cover the cost of everything that they need is not something that a great many people really cherish or enjoy.
In fact, the quality of life that simple jobs with fixed hours without excessive travel would offer, would be something that many would choose to take – IF that kind of occupational lifestyle could achieve self-sufficiency with the security that everyone deserves as a minimum to achieve.
Despite what anyone with an interest in maintaining the perverse status and rules that allow all of this to exist will tell you, it is not impossible to change things and create a capitalist-based system where everyone can thrive and enjoy their lives fairly – rather than everything being funneled at the few and being maintained at the cost, expense and pain of everyone else who exists.
It is just a shame that we have a political class that is fixated with its own existence rather than seeing the real ills that society faces as something that can actually be fixed.
Sadly, for us all, in their obsession to maintain their positions, our Politicians have bolted shut the democratic doors.
Right now, there is no way we can get real leaders into Parliament who have the ability, wherewithal and commitment to do everything necessary to make life affordable and fair for all.