Tag Archives: bedding banks

Fṛm Đ Gardịn: First food banks, now bedding banks: in my time in politics, this is the worst poverty I’ve seen

Lisa Hamilton-North packing bedding at the Big Hoose project, Lochgelly, Fife. Photograph: GMP/The Big Hoose Project
Līsa Hamiltn-Norʈ pacñ bedñ at ɖ Big Hūs project, Loh Geli, Fîf. Foṭgraf: GMP/Ɖ Big Hūs Project

Frst fūdbancs, nǎ bedñbancs: in mî tîm in poḷtics, ɖs z ɖ wrst poṿti I’v sìn

(Transcription of an article published in the Guardian on 1 Marć 2022)

Ɖr r faṃliz hu cn onli trn on ɖer hītñ fr tū aurz a de n yz torćz at nît rɖr ɖn spendñ on ilectric lît

Gordon Brown

Gordn Brǎn, Tyzde, 1 Marć 2022

“Bedñbancs” r abt t tec ɖer ples alñsd fūdbancs, bebibancs n ćildṛn’z cloɖz bancs az ɖ ny fes v ćaṛti. Peṛnts unebl t aford ɖer hītñbilz r nǎ trnñ t blancits, śīts, duvecuvrz n slīpñbagz fr ɖer ćildṛn az ɖer ćīpist aveḷbl pṛtx́n agnst ɖ cold wintrnîts. Ol bcz, no matr hǎ prūdntli ɖe bujit, faṃliz d nt hv ɖ caś t fīd ɖer prīpemnt gas n ilectric mītrz – it z an 18ʈ snć̣ri ansr dspt ɖr biyñ a 21st snć̣ri s’lūśn.

In ol mî tîm in poḷtics I hv nvr witnist so mć poṿti n hardśp. In Circōldi n Cǎdnbīʈ, ɖ cnstitẏnsi I grù p in n reprizntd fr 32 yirz n ẃr I am petṛn v ɖ locl faṃli sntr, ɖr r mor ćildṛn ɖn evr gwñ t scūl il-clad n hungri; despṛt muɖrz fōlñ intu ɖ handz v lounśarcs; n mntl-hlʈ probḷmz esc̣letñ wɖ litl NHS pṛviźn t cǒp.

A fy wīcs ago hundṛdz v añśs muɖrz kd p ǎtsd ɖer locl Coops aftr ɖ faṃlisntr staf rezd fundz t ad a £50 credit t ɖer gas n ilectriṣti prīpemntcardz.

Ɖs z poṿti at its dminñ n dgredñ wrst. Īvn bfr ɖ Epril eṇjiprîs rîzz, I am hírñ storiz I ʈt I wd nvr hír in 2022: v ćildṛn obsesivli ćecñ ɖ ilectriṣtimītr ẃn ɖe wec p in ɖ bitr cold; v faṃliz hu cn onli trn on ɖer hītñ fr tū aurz a de n yz torćz at nît rɖr ɖn spendñ on ilectric lît; n v muɖrz unebl t hîd ɖer tirz ẃn ɖe canot pṛvîd ɖer ćildṛn wɖ îɖr wintrcloɖz n śuz or besic wormʈ.

Sadli ɖ welférstet seftinet hz bn torn apart. A fy wīcs ago a locl ćaṛti faund ʈri ćildṛn slīpñ on ɖ flor undr jst wn blancit. Fūdbancs r nǎ hlpñ a strīm v muɖrz unebl t aford ccrz t gv ɖer ćildṛn hot fūd īvn wns a wīc. Ɖe r amñ ɖ nirli 4 miłn faṃliz hu r olrdi bhnd wɖ ɖer bilz. Last wīc, bcz v hlp fṛm Aṃzn, ɖ Coop n Scotmid, ɖ Circōldi faṃli sntr wz ebl t aqîr hundṛdz v bedñ îtmz bt nǎ, az ɖe run ǎt agn ẃl ɖ nīd cntinyz t rîz, it hz snt ǎt d’rect apilz t istabliśt bedñ n bedñ-gdz cumṗniz fr eni srpḷs blancits n bedñ.

In 1993, jrñ a prīvịs ic̣nomic crîsis, ɖ ɖen guvnmnt rezd VAT n naśnl inśuṛns dspt ol proṃsz nt t d so n miłnz v ppl peid ɖ prîs az faṃlipoṿti śot p. In ɖ osteṛtiyirz, beṇfits wr cut – frst aftr 2010 n ɖen mor saṿjli aftr 2015. Bt nʈñ in rīsnt yirz cmperz t ẃt’s ahd az simlteńsli fūdcosts rîz 5%, n gas n ilectriṣti prîsz incris az mć az 50%, wɖ beṇfits subjict t onli a 3.1% rîz īvn az infleśn hedz t 7% n ɖ naśnl inśuṛns hîc costs ɖ tipicl faṃli abt £20 a munʈ.

So wɖ onli fîv wīcs t g bfr ɖ bigist hit t livñ standdz fr decedz, it’s tîm t cōl a hōlt t ɖ ic̣nomic madnis v alawñ, at wn n ɖ sem tîm, tax rîzz, fūdprîs hîcs, esc̣letñ hītñbilz n riyl-trmz beṇfit cuts – ɖ qodṛpl ẃami ɖt wl tip olrdi hard-prest faṃliz ovr ɖ éj. It’s tîm fr ministrz t wec p t ɖ pen olrdi biyñ flt in plesz ɖe r unlîcli t evr vizit, n t ɖ suḟrñ v ppl ɖe me nvr si; fr no guvnmnt cn jusṭfî ɖ frɖr depṛveśn biyñ impozd on miłnz v its sitiznz.

Lufbra Yṇvrṣti’z minimm-incm-standd project, léd bî Doṇld Hirsch, hz wrct ǎt ẃt faṃliz nīd az a beslîn incm, drw̃ on rsrć intu ẃt ɖ jenṛl public cnsidrz “isnśl” xpndćrz. Last yir a cupl wɖ tū ćildṛn, ejd ʈri n sevn, nīdd £482 a wīc aftr peyñ rent, caunsltax n ćîldcer. Infleśn, Hirsch tlz m, hz olrdi pśt ɖs p bî 6% t £511. Yt cm Epril, beṇfits fr a faṃli lîc ɖs wl rîz bî onli £8 a wīc – mīnñ ɖe wd hv onli £274 a wīc in aveḷbl incm wns ɖ contṛbyśn t caunsltax z peid. Ɖe hv olrdi lost ɖ £20 uplift in yṇvrsl credit ɖt wz cruwli rmuvd last Octobr n, wɖ ɖer incm nǎ bérli cuṿrñ haf (54%) ẃt ɖe nīd, ɖe r mć wrs of ɖn last yir.

Ɖs z ẃ, t enśur ɖer ćildṛn hv fūd n uɖr isnślz, peṛnts ofn g wɖt nseṣtiz ɖmslvz. Acordñ t ɖ minimm-incm standd, ɖ fl cost v fūd, gas, ilectriṣti, wōtr n hom inśuṛns fr ǎr faṃli v for z £153 a wīc, līvñ onli £4.30 a de p’ prsn t cuvr evrʈñ els – fṛm cloɖz, mobîlz n lōndri t bedñ, tôḷtrolz n uɖr sanitri gdz.

Ẃn asct, Boris Jonsn rfyzd t ansr f h cd liv on yṇvrsl credit. N no wundr: ɖ wīcli prsnl alawns fr cuplz ovr 18 wd totl £121 fṛm Epril, onli a £3.60 rîz; n ɖ sngl prsn’z ret fr ɖoz ovr 25 wl b £77 – jst a £2.30 rîz ɖt wl nvr cuvr ɖ rîzñ fūdprîsz n record hītñbilz, īvn aftr ɖ £200 loun hǎsholdz wl hv t pe bac ovr ɖ nxt fîv yirz. Hǎ cn a sngl wmn, lcñ fr wrc, mc endz mīt ẃn ɖ mobîl fon, brōdband n busférz ɖt ś nīdz fr jobhuntñ cd ć cost abt £10 a wīc n ẃn, lîc ʈǎzndz, ś hz t cntribyt twdz hr caunsltax n rent n rpe a loun? Eni ʈt v cloɖz or īvn lōndri or tôḷtriz z ǎt, n ɖ onli we £77 cn cuvr hr bilz z bî cutñ bac on mīlz n wormʈ. Ɖs z ẃ, īvn bfr its ic̣nomic stetmnt on 23 Marć, ministrz mst – az ɖ Ćîldpoṿti-Ax́n Grūp n uɖrz hv cnsistntli dmandd – rvrs ɖ £1,000 a yir cut in yṇvrsl credit n d mor t hlp wɖ hītñ n beṇfits az wel az psponñ ɖ naśnl-inśuṛns rîz.

It z ofn sd ɖt tru līdrśp z līdñ bî xampl. Ol v s wl fōl śort, n Partiget z an ispeṣ́li śemfl n penfl episod ɖt hz dstrest miłnz hu md ɖ sacṛfîsz ɖt ɖer līdrz wr nt priperd t mc ɖmslvz. Poṿtiget, ɖo, plúmz ny depʈs: līdrz r nwñli impozñ hardśp ɖe wl nt xpirịns ɖmslvz on ɖoz olrdi tù pur t pṛtct ɖer faṃliz. N unlîc Partiget, poṿti dz nt end, bt gz on de aftr de, hartbrecñ n cruwl īvn bynd osteṛti. No guvnmnt śd b alaud t gt awe wɖ it.

• Gordn Brǎn z ɖ Wrld Hlʈ Orġnîześn ambasdr fr globl hlʈ fînansñ, n wz YC prîm̦inistr fṛm 2007 t 2010

Instroduction to Ñspel