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What is Poverty?. - Carers UK Forum

What is Poverty?.

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
When i was born during WW2 there were no luxuries most thing's were on ration i was only 3 years old when the war ended so to young to remember the hardship.
But after the war in the early 1950's there was still rationing Sweet's were on ration and most food's and clothes no luxuries Good's most were being exported.
I didnt think of that as poverty i knew no better going to school with patches on me backside of me short trousers holes in me sock's that had to be sown up the motto then was make do and mend because you could only buy clothes when you had enough coupons and the money to pay for them i still didnt think about poverty.
Because of all the bombing in the war we lived in a house with only gas lighting no electricity no coal to burn non available Dad came home from the army when i was 4 in 1946 to a land fit for hero's after 6 & half years.
The rain came through the roof the lavvy was down the garden one cold tap no bathroom i still didnt think i lived in poverty.
Then in 1947 my sister was born.
A home birth no heating apart from the wood my dad found to make a fire and at the age of 5 i walked over 2 miles to get some coal to burn i got it in a old pram dad was at work mum was in bed after having my sister today that would be fround on today by others but i was doing my bit at that young age and would still do the same if i had to.
I still don't think that was poverty.
When i was 15 i left school on the Friday and started work on the Monday i worked 46 & a half hours a week and got paid £2 pounds 6 shilling a week i gave it all to Mum and was given 15 shillings for myself i thought i was rich i also did a paper round before i went to work i got up at 5-30 am did the paper round the got to work for 7-30am i did this until i got a raise a year later now i was a teenager met my wife Pat and got married in our teens struggled to pay for our living accommodation and food but still didn't think i was living in poverty we lost 2 children we then went on to have 4 children 3 were adopted not fostered we never got paid to look after any of the 3 we only got family allowance in those day's you didn't get it for the first child only those after that we brought all our children up we still didn't think we lived in poverty it never crossed my mind.
Then thing's started going wrong well that's not true my wife was in a coma just one year after we got married.
Pat was still only 19 at the time we lost our first child it was born died funeral and buried while my wife was still in the coma.
Now back to the more recent years ill health for my wife and i my wife having amputations now in a wheelchair and we still don't think we live in poverty.
We have both seen real poverty in other countries last year we see it in Bulgaria.
So after i have told you my story so far would you say i live or have lived in poverty because i don't think we do.
I read so much of what people think is poverty please tell me if you think my thoughts on poverty are wrong.
it was very interesting to read your story john. i to was born just after the war.

however, its 2007 now, we are a rich country, surely carers have the right to live a decent standard of living. many of us have given up well paid jobs to continue caring, and we are proping up the services and saving the country billions.

i for one don't feel at all guilty about wanting a share of this country's wealth for what i do. on the contrary, i think carers deserve over and above what the average 40 hr. worker earns.

Poverty is relative. If no one has the basics of life, then there's a shortage of supply of the basics, rather than poverty.

If some can afford the basics (and in some cases much, much more) and some cannot afford any, then there is poverty.

Too many carers can't afford the basics.
iam drifting into poverty
when my mother pops her clogs i will be in poverty as she now subsidises me she has good war/war widows pensions, state pension plus she gets benefits i dont so when iam on my own i could not even afford the rent for the flat never mind light ,heat,food,water, and council tax
even now we are thrifty we no longer even use quilted toilet paper we check everthing we buy for cost. if the carers allowance was doubled i would be able to plan for the future but we need more help with cash.

Hi Charles.
Surely if there is a shortage of supply and that supply is the basics of life then whether man made or through disaster then at the end of the day the people effected are suffering poverty.
I agree some carers are not getting the basic requirement's.
But poverty must have different levels ie the third world were poverty is far worse than we can ever imagine how fellow member's of our human race suffer I have seen some of these cases and I don't mean on TV I mean up close so there are many way's of measuring poverty that's why I have never thought I have lived in poverty.
Overall I agree with you John but whatever your belief about poverty there are far too many carers who are in it.
Image [POVERTY IS £48-65 A WEEK ]
Image [POVERTY IS £48-65 A WEEK ]
True - for those who can get it. I know some carers who, if they claimed what they are entitled to, would see their carees' benefit reduce by the same amount - and so won't claim it. That rule is as disgusting to me as the overlapping rule.
That rule happened to me and is still happening to me.
Plus I have lost an extra £15 a week that i was getting.
Taking me out of pension credit because of an occupational pension that i had paid into the occupational pension was a few pence over and i lost my pension credit plus all the other benefit's ie council taxes free dentist help with travel to the hospital.
Should i class myself as living in poverty?.
If the few pence puts you out of pocket to less than Pension Credit because of Council Tax, etc., the answer is yes, John. The official poverty line in this country is Income Support/Pension Credit.