CATCH launches second blog
The experience of CATCH’s first nine months’ operation as a food relief project has shown us that actually this specific, now-focussed, material need is very real – but it is from being either the beginning or the end of the story.
We are seeing people in multiple deprivations, with varying time-lines.
Possibly the most fundamental deprivation is that we are seeing people who have too few rights – the current direction of what was once the social security system all too often recasts them as in effect ‘the enemy within’ – whose every action, inaction, declaration, is to be viewed with suspicion or even hostility.
Out of that, we are seeing people who have been cash-starved for significant periods, to the point where they have little stock or capital left. Indeed, many are quite seriously indebted, to an extent which – through repayments – further depresses their income. Every need becomes a current expense, and the shrunken income cannot support it.
Further to that, the wider social safety nets that might once have supported them are themselves shrinking and shrivelling, so that collateral issues eg housing, health; debt; addictive issues, are not exposed to sufficient professional support.
And the officially-preferred ‘way out of poverty’ ie employment simply is NOT that road for many. Those in work are often on low wages, short hours and hard conditions. Those not in work, in Cwmtawe, have few opportunities; and the longer they are out of work, the steeper the climb back becomes.
HARSH TIMES HARD FACTS is launched as a second blog within the CATCH website which will allow us to bear witness to what we are seeing, and to make some small contribution to the wider social/economic debate. It has been long in gestation, and frankly, posting of reports, comment, and links here is always likely to take second place to actually ‘doing it’ in CATCH. But we will do our best…….