The pandemic has hit the poorest extremely hard both health wise and financially pushing the financially insecure into a seemingly never ending spiral into worsening poverty. Financial and social inequality highlights health inequalities which prevents people from living with both security and dignity that they deserve.
From the 2008 global financial crash, which was followed by the ten years of cuts that followed this fortified proved beyond all doubt that there is a strong link between peoples health and their social circumstances.
In February 2020, the Marmot review reported the impact of the public health crisis in great detail. It reported that life expectancy in the UK had stopped improving for the first time in 100 years.
The government’s responses to Covid 19 pandemic highlights and continues to exacerbate this cruel injustice.
Thousands of people are still being forced to work whilst have Covid 19 symptoms because they can’t financially afford to take time off work.We must not blame someone who continues to work, despite having symptoms of covid-19, because of financial difficulties.
The blame lies at the feet of the government who are still excluding so many by not recognising their financial worries.
Without adequate financial and practical support for self-isolation, not everyone can afford to do this. Their needs are still not being met proving that being better off financially Wealth can be the best shielding strategy from the pandemic.
More than a million people who have applied for Universal Credit since March 2020. Many have waited months for their payments to start which barely covers basic necessities. Leaving them in a much worse financial state.
The government is still continuing to not commit to extending the £20 weekly uplift which is extremely worrying for millions of people that are reliant upon these payments.
The government has failed to keep people safe during the pandemic which has in turn affected the economy. This has resulted in the UK having one of the highest Covid 19 mortality rates in the world, coupled wit one of the biggest economic recessions amongst the G7 nations.
The government fails to understand that both physical health and economic wellbeing are intertwined.
Instead of prioritising the welfare of the public, the government prioritised schemes such as the ‘Eat Out To Help Out which failed to help the economy but also resulted in the ill health and deaths of so many.are impeccably encapsulated by the £849 million “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme.
As a result of countless governments cuts and benefit reforms the UK now the weakest safety nets in its own post-war history, yet public support for an improved welfare system is, according to The Guardian newspaper the highest for twenty years.
The government needs to give people greater social protection and to give people the means to live healthy and dignified lives.Those that need to self isolate should be given the financial means to do so.
It’s a terrible indictment of the governments attitude that millions of people are now forced to rely upon food parcels and making the choice wether to eat or heat.
Will the government answer our calls for this to happen? I doubt they will but we should never stop reminding them of this need.
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