Thursday 13 December 2018
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.theguardian - 30 days ago

Children in Need is wonderful, but we shouldn’t need Pudsey to feed our children

Poverty is a political issue and airbrushing its causes does a disservice to the very families who are in needOn Friday, the UN special rapporteur on poverty, Philip Alston, will release a report on the impact of austerity in the UK. Evidence from his two-week tour included the case of a child who relied on food banks for two years and took bread and butter to school for lunch. A few hours later, in a BBC studio, Children in Need will start its annual drive to raise millions of pounds for disadvantaged kids across the country. These two events might seem unrelated. Indeed, when Tess Daly introduces the heart-rending films of suffering children, it is unlikely that you will hear her mention the bedroom tax or child tax credit cuts. But then, we never really talk about this, do we?As a disabled child growing up in the 1990s, I found watching Children in Need uncomfortable. I could never understand why newsreaders had to put on a costume and dance just to give people like me basic support. But that niggling discomfort has increased in recent years as austerity has seen Britain’s poverty deepen and charities are increasingly expected to pick up the pieces. About 30% of all children in the UK now live in poverty, with the equality watchdog estimating that government cuts will push an extra 1.5m children below the breadline by 2021. Continue reading...

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