Monday 4 January 2016

Down and Out in Glasgow and......Glasgow

Today, it was announced that the middle class tossers at Creative Scotland have paid some lucky recipient a grant to live in Glasgow for a year and to report on “being poor”. That grant is £15,000. For a year. Tax free.

Here are a few facts. If you are under 25, unemployed, but physically fit, in Glasgow this is the maximum you can receive in benefits.

Job Seekers Allowance: £57.90 per week. £3010.80 per annum.

Housing Benefit: £92.08 per week. £4788.16 per annum.

Council Tax Benefit (per annum): £808.67
And that's it.

That is a total of £8,607.63 per annum.

That is £6,392.37 per annum less: £122.94 a week less; four meals downstairs at the Rogano less, than that which Creative Scotland regards as poverty. But imagine the trauma for a creative of not being able to eat a full three days a week at the Rogano? And never upstairs. Unless you are being treated by somebody (from Creative Scotland?) visiting you and enjoying an expense account. After all, it's not far from Queen Street.

Now, be clear, let us revisit that amount of £8,607.83 per annum; £165.53 a week, before housing costs. £57.90 afterwards. For heating, lighting and, with what is left, food. That is poor. Really poor. So poor that nobody needs to contract with you, as the middle class tossers did with their middle class recipient of their £15,000, that she would only leave Glasgow for family or medical emergency, not even for The Fringe. £165.63 per week rules out even the cinema in Coatbridge. Indeed £165.63 per week, £57.90 after housing costs, leaves you so poor that you probably couldn't even afford to leave Glasgow even if there was family or medical emergency. With or without the agreement of Creative Scotland.

The middle classes simply do not appreciate absolute poverty. That explains the £15,000. Just as it explains two other things. The Yessers belief (and I suspect most of those awarding this grant fell into that category) that the “adventure” of Independence might bring a little financial “hardship” to them but not one they couldn't bear. But it also explains those in my Party, in comfortable public sector employment, who think that “a Labour Government at any price” is also one too high for them to bear. For them perhaps. But not I suspect for those on £8607.53 per annum, £165.53 a week, before housing costs. £57.90 after housing costs. A week. And facing things getting consistently worse under another ten years of the Tories.

Now these same Tories say “Get a job!” (although not, I suspect, as a professional “poor person in Glasgow”) and I get that. But if you've been brought up in a workless household, and have, as a result of our dysfunctional education system, have no practical skills to employ in this increasingly post manual labour age, then “getting a job” is not as simple as that.

So £165.53 a week might be your lot. But let's not pretend that this is anything other than absolute poverty. And lets not pretend that £15,000 per annum ( tax free) is anything even approaching that. Not least because the National Living Wage (certainly no fortune) is £14,287 per annum for a 35 hour week. Before tax!

But that is the extent to which our Nationalist masters and their middle class luvvie pals simply do not understand the lot of the poor. And yet by waving a flag they get away with pretending that they do. While my own Party believes it can afford the indulgence of Jez and Kez.
I'm annoyed. You'll get that.

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