Friday, September 29, 2017

Yes, I would expect you to "worry about money most of the time".

So, the Beeb has yet another article about some people being relatively poor. And it has two poster children. The second is a recent graduate working for the NHS but that complaint is all mixed in with racism, sexism and other whataboutery.

I want you to have a think about Pippa.

  • Has or, at least had, mental health problems.
  • Which caused her to drop out of school - presumably with GCSE level qualifications although it doesn't say.
  • Quickly became a single mother (no mention of daddy - he must exist but ...)
  • Was homeless (no mention of parents, other relations, and not much, even, of friends.)
  • Is in education (not working) - albeit an "access to higher education" course because, remember, she dropped out of school. 
  • Is just 21.
Considering all the above, would we expect Pippa to be in a high or low earning segment of society? And, given the costs of supporting a young child (it's been a while for me but I can remember babies not being cheap things to have around), she's going to have relatively high outgoings.

Frankly, barring generous support from the Bank of (the not mentioned) Mum and Dad, this is the sort of person who, in all bar the most utopian society, we would expect to be actually poor.

And in the UK, she is poor. She's not starving, she's not homeless, she's trying to improve her prospects, baby Violet looks reasonably healthy. So, yes, I think this is a reasonable success for the safety net of the UK benefits system - a system I regularly criticise for it's lack of responsiveness (and, yes, she was in hostel accom or with friends for a while while pregnant and shortly after giving birth. But a council flat was found.)

Just as a note, at 21, I was earning about half of the UK average (mean, I think, the source site doesn't say. Fine as a single bloke ...)

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