Interesting reading in the news this week about how much money we apparently “need” for an “acceptable” standard of living, and the methodology used to calculate the figures. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation have a calculator here that you can play around with to adjust the figure for your family. Try it, it’s educative. I now realise how impoverished we are. We are ten grand a year short of an acceptable lifestyle, and had never realised! My children are deprived! We do not have £185.62 per week to spend on social and cultural activities, or £61.89 on clothing.
There’s something very wrong here. I’ve been poor, and it’s no joke. Poverty can grind you down, and demean you. I understand that poverty doesn’t have to mean starvation and homelessness; that it’s relative to the society we live in; that to be without a car, or a computer and broadband internet can be isolating, and excluding.
But the implications of this report trouble me. If we live in a world which believes we need so much as an acceptable minimum, no wonder we see parents working longer hours and spending less time with their children; families building up more and more debt; and stress, exhaustion and mental illness becoming the norm.
Stop the world, I want to get off…