See no Poverty. Hear no Poverty. Speak no Poverty.
The idea has been sold to us all for many a year now. The one where if you get a job, work hard for 40 hours or more a week that you should be able to provide a home, food, pay all your bills , provide for your family and if you save up then eventually you should all be able to get ahead. Lots of us are still dreaming that dream. Working towards being able to save anything, ever.
There is most definitely a visual drop in the standard of living many now find themselves in, even though either one or two parents in the family are working. The working poor. Where you work all the hours you possibly can, are as skilled in your industry as you can be and still struggle from pay to pay to provide all your family may need. It’s a place where it’s all work and worry, where the juggling of bills has you robbing Peter to pay Paul so to speak. Never quite having enough to stretch all the way around and certainly nothing left to save. There are no lunches out, no haircuts, no trips to the movies, no holidays. Not much to look forward to, nothing to get terribly excited about. It’s a grind, the worry is immense and it’s exhausting.
Being working poor is about being stuck, it’s about doing everything you can and are told you should and you still aren’t getting ahead financially.
If you didn’t catch Nigel Latta’s documentary this week about inequality, you should. It was very telling. To see a two parent working family pawning family heirlooms to warrant their car, struck a real chord with me. It made me uncomfortable. It’s a sight I can not believe that our current Government thinks is acceptable in any way. That was two fulltime working parents having to use foodbanks to feed their family. Is this the dream, the one this Government still thinks we can all achieve? Is this what our kids are striving for? A life of struggle and fight to try and achieve the unachievable dream.
If you both work hard, fulltime, then you should be able to feed your kids and yourselves, pay the rent, warrant the car and go to the dentist. Surely? Is tells me that something is wrong, it’s not working the way it should. What it is, is a sad reflection of New Zealand and what big business and greed has done to many, when all the many want is a fair days pay for a fair days work. A decent liveable wage for all, so all can benefit from it, because as we all know, the more you have the more you spend. It’s a win win.