Food poverty and food banks – more evidence of the widening of the gap between rich and poor – on Radio 4’s Food Programme today. Exposing how the government is stepping back from any responsibility to ensure that people on benefits or low pay have enough money to be able to eat properly, leaving charities to try desperately to fill the gap with food banks right across the UK.
Central government needs to bring in a living wage and benefits that are liveable on – a citizens income, and local government needs to be enabling people to grow more food too – more allotments, garden sharing, community gardens… Our community garden at school has continued to be successful with lots of great produce and some wonderful shared meals round the fire pit. My front garden has also flourished, despite the dry spell doing for the spinach – great crop of delicious strawberries. We also had some excellent potatoes from the back garden and from the community allotment at Bill Quay Farm.
There was more on the 3D use of our space to grow things edible, medicinal and useful for dyeing etc – forest gardening – on Gardeners Question Time today.
Of course what the government would much rather do is give a tax cut to the rich by getting rid of the 50p tax band, because of course the rich need to be paid more to incentivise them, while the poor need to be paid less. Richard Murphy demolished the eminent economists’ argument for this tax cut on the Today programme last week.
Caroline Lucas was on a panel on tax dodging at this weekend’s Green Party conference and last week welcomed a report by Ethical Consumer on the tax haven firms that run our public services.
I wasn’t able to get to conference but instead went to the Sunderland Carnival Against the Cuts with Gangsters of Ska and 1977 – exactly the music that politicised me aged 13 in 77.