Various charities have been lobbying for more funds to be made available in this week’s budget, to tackle child poverty in the UK. What confuses me about the subject, is that there does not seem to be a true definition of what child poverty really is.
I fail to remember ever seeing pot-bellied, semi-naked children, scavenging the streets of London searching for morsels of food that will suppress their hunger until their next bit of luck.
Of course, that is because our form of poverty is one that comes from a nation of plenty. Our form of poverty is dreamt up by charity workers whose jobs are about marketing the idea, until we all believe it is true. Our form of poverty is often about parents who will smoke, drink and watch plasma tellies rather than use the money to feed and clothe their kids. It includes women who make a career out of childbirth ‘on the state’ and kids who have Nintendo Wiis but no proper shoes for school. Often, it is a self inflicted ‘poverty’ and is more about priorities than true need.
However, it should not be forgotten, that there are many single parents who’s benefits bring them below the so-called poverty line and who are not taking advantage, or complaining loudly, of their situation. They budget carefully with what little they receive and make the best possible life for their children. Sadly, they are the forgotten ones; it is those who confuse greed with need, who always make the headlines.
The notion of ‘poverty’ in this country is really just an insult to those in this world who are suffering the true meaning of the word. They would love to experience the hardships that our own ‘poverty’ stricken families suffer.
I guess, in reality, the true definition of child ‘poverty’ is really to be found in the meaning of perspective!