The UK’s extremes of wealth & poverty – one faith’s views – and the rise of foodbanks

Food-banks-graph-2013 (1)OXFAM: ‘The Perfect Storm: Economic stagnation, the rising cost of living, public spending cuts, and the impact on UK poverty’

The combination in the UK of economic stagnation and public spending cuts is causing substantial hardship to people living in poverty. This amounts to a ‘Perfect Storm’ of falling incomes, rising prices, public service cuts, benefit cuts, a housing crisis, and weak labour rights. By making different political choices, the government can both protect people in poverty and help to stimulate economic recovery in the short term, and set the UK on the way towards economic, social and environmental sustainability in the long term. – To read the report click HERE

Is this lack of compassion and continual favouring of the rich a lack of a moral outlook?  To look at just one of the UK’s faiths, the Baha’i Faith, we have;

O CHILDREN OF DUST! – Tell the rich of the midnight sighing of the poor, lest heedlessness lead them into the path of destruction, and deprive them of the Tree of Wealth. To give and to be generous are attributes of Mine; well is it with him that adorneth himself with My virtues.

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O OPPRESSORS ON EARTH!  Withdraw your hands from tyranny, for I have pledged Myself not to forgive any man’s injustice. This is My covenant which I have irrevocably decreed in the preserved tablet and sealed with My seal.  (Baha’u’llah, Hidden Words, Persian 64)

“O Ye Rich Ones on Earth! – The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust, and be not intent only on your own ease.” – The Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah, p. 41

“We see amongst us men who are overburdened with riches on the one hand, and on the other those unfortunate ones who starve with nothing; those who possess several stately palaces, and those who have no where to lay their head. Some we find with numerous courses of costly and dainty food; whilst others can scarce find sufficient crusts to keep them alive. Whilst some are clothed in velvets, furs and fine linen, others have insufficient, poor and thin garments with which to protect them from the cold.

“This condition of affairs is wrong and must be remedied. Now the remedy must be carefully undertaken.” – `Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 151

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FOOD BANKS

Food banks concentrated in areas hit hardest by benefit sanctions, study finds

High unemployment, poverty and government cuts significantly associated with increased need for food aid, Oxford University research shows.

Austerity policies such as cuts to welfare and local services are driving the rapid spread of food banks in the UK, according to an academic study.

The Oxford University research shows emergency food aid is most concentrated in areas where there are high levels of joblessness and benefit sanctions.

To read this article go HERE

JUST HOW CRUEL CAN OUR POLITICIANS BE? – to read article go HERE

A Tory MP stunned fellow parliamentarians after defending the benefits system that left a jobseeker with learning difficulties without food or electricity after he was four minutes late for a Jobcentre appointment.

Conservative backbencher Mark Spencer, who represents the Nottinghamshire constituency of Sherwood, made the controversial remarks during a debate on the state of poverty in Britain on Wednesday afternoon in Westminster Hall.

Labour MP Lisa Nandy, shadow civil society minister, told fellow parliamentarians about how a vulnerable person in her constituency of Wigan suffered after having his benefits taken away under the controversial sanctions regime.

“Several times this year I have had to refer a gentleman with learning difficulties to Denise (the local Reverend) for food due to him having sanctions on him for turning up late,” a local councillor had told her. “The gentleman can’t tell the time and is a recluse. He has been found sitting in his flat in the dark with no electric or gas. He won’t ask for help.”

“Only for the old neighbours watch out for him and contact myself heaven knows what would of happened to him. I was informed he has to get a letter off the doctor for an electric card…The lad turned up at my door the other night. He hadn’t eaten for 5 days. He looked like he was dying.”

The UK needs to massively increase its capability for social justice and some politicians need to acquaint themselves with plain compassion.

Justice lady

and a last say for those Baha’i teachings;

O SON OF SPIRIT!
The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes. – AHW 2