It's difficult to know where to start with this excellent and thought-provoking article in the Guardian over the weekend, juxtaposed with another in there about the devastating impact of ending, in the Spring, the temporary £20-per-week increase in Universal Credit that the Government has allowed during the Covid-19 crisis.
"Every government of recent years has argued that work is the best route out of poverty. In reality, the majority of people living below the breadline today are in working households, including 70% of poor children; according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, "in-work poverty" is the problem of our times."
The organisations we work with are front-line responders to the poverty crisis including social and affordable housing providers, charities, local authorities and schools. We see them strive every day to improve the outcomes for their communities. But they are stuck in a perpetual cycle of addressing the symptoms and not the cause.
Covid-19 has pulled the curtain back on the inequalities that exist on so many levels in our society. It is absolutely clear that an indefinite period of "austerity" such as we've seen over the past decade will irreparably harm - not heal - the fundamental problems we have. As much as we need a circuit-breaker to stop Covid-19, we need one to meaningfully tackle poverty and deprivation.
Huge societal problems need huge societal solutions. Now is the time.
...lives are shaped by dynamics that have barely altered [in]... years...: housing insecurity, dependence on an often labyrinthine and punitive welfare system, a sense of having to perpetually balance on a tightrope where the slightest wobble will send you tumbling.