Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Budgeting? Welcome to the world of the Master Jugglers Mr Gove!

Michael "Gaff" Gove is at it again! Not content with making an omnishambles out of education he has turned his thoughts to families who have had to resort to visiting Foodbanks to get by and feed their families.

Gove says ‘I appreciate that there are families who face considerable pressures.
‘Those pressures are often the result of decisions that they have taken which mean they are not best able to manage their finances."

Have you managed a families finances on JSA and income support Mr Gove? Have you managed a budget where parents in a family work and are low paid? Probably not. I can tell you that many parents are extremely adept at managing a families finances. I know I am. There have been times over the last year when our self employment was more ebbing then flowing when I was managing to feed a family of 2 adults and 4 boys aged 13-23 on £50 a week - and that includes washing powder and cleaning products! Could you do that Mr Gove? One of your colleagues Iain Duncan - Smith  allegedly spent £39 on a breakfast last year. Families struggling against austerity are geniuses in stretching and balancing family budgets. Before you or your party ask, my flat screen TV was bought a few years back - by careful budgeting in the good times of self employment. Too late to send it back now!

We get working tax credits. The reason for this is because my husband as a DJ works in pubs and clubs who have cut their work and the rate of pay has been unchanged since 2002! He is also an ECB Cricket Coach. He coaches many private school kids whose parents can afford the coaching lessons. He also wants to coach young children into taking up and excelling at the sport and in turn benefiting their cricket clubs. Call it Big Society in action if you like! But we do not receive a Living Wage and in the winter months we carefully budget for our circumstances. We plan minutely Mr Gove for the
lean times ; the hard times. And there have been many more hard times since the Coalition came into power!

A few years back we had 4 school uniforms to buy every August.. always budgeted down to the last penny as my boys would arrive at school in September in correct school uniform with blazers. The cost then was in excess of £500. Working Tax Credits helped us out as they do now.  I have 2 boys left in High School and my 21 year old has just returned to college to do an access to Uni course. I cannot afford the £3 per son in High School  for lunch = £6 per day for school dinners. So they have packed lunches. We are having to support our 21 year old too for a year although he has several interviews for part time jobs lined up, to help him out with his college costs. But we live in a coastal rural area and are forking out the £9 a week bus pass for him. Some things I budget monthly for like the mortgage, council tax and utility bills. Other things like food, petrol, my disabled sons drama school fees ( one treat I will not bargain over as it is a huge benefit for him) I budget weekly for. So you see Mr Gove far from "not being able to manage my finances" I am a master juggler of making ends meet on a weekly and monthly basis, as are thousands more like me!

No one wants to visit a Foodbank. Contrary to Mark Hobans latest statement that the DWP and Job Centres do not refer people to Foodbanks or issue vouchers http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2013-09-04a.167301.h&s=speaker%3A10596#g167301.q0
many people are now unable to make ends meet at all, and are cutting back on food in order to pay housing costs and heating bills.

Imagine for one minute Mr Gove you have run out of money after paying the essentials. There are 3 or 4 days until you receive for example, a child benefit payment. You have exhausted all the avenues of getting money : asked relatives too many times, scrambled down the back of the sofa once too often and nothing is left, turned every coat pocket out, hunted behind furniture, emptied a handbag upside down, sold cherished possessions for a pittance What then? The very thought you have to rely on a charitable donation to feed your family for a few days is humiliating, and stomach churning. As a parent you are the provider. When you can provide no more and you have done everything to stretch the budget one last time in vain, the very thought of turning to a Foodbank can be the final straw, that sees many break down in total disbelief they have come to this point. They have made all the right decisions, they have put the children first with no treats or fripperies but the cupboard is bare. 

This is not about bad management of money or finances Mr Gove: this is sheer desperation. A desperation you and your Government refuse and cannot begin to comprehend.