Monday, January 07, 2019

Spending cuts are making life impossible for the poor in rural areas

An extraordinary start to an article by Louise Tickle in today's Guardian:
Twenty-four miles there and back is one hell of a hike to your local jobcentre. But when Ray Taylor, 56, had his benefits cut for 13 weeks after illness meant he missed an appointment to sign on, he had no option but to get out his walking shoes. 
He doesn’t have friends with cars to give him a lift, and with no money coming in, he couldn’t pay the £7 bus fare from the small Cambridgeshire town of Ramsey to Huntingdon, where he is registered for benefits. And if he missed signing on again, he would be sanctioned again.
Soon Ramsey will have no buses even if you can afford the fares.

You might advocate relaxing the sanctions regime and allowing people sign on over the internet. Except that many poor people won't have access and the libraries where they could log on are being closed across rural England.

My headline is not hyperbole. Spending cuts are making life impossible for the poor in rural areas.

1 comment:

nigel hunter said...

This reminds me of your article on the Cambridge Library where people are charged a pound to use the computers.People have to log on to claim Universal Credit. You have to fill in the online form at one go. If you make a mistake it is written off and you have to start again. If you have no money this is another hurdle to jump over. Where does the penny pinching end, when their are more people sleeping rough on the streets? Are we sliding into Dickensian times?