The Poverty Trap… An escape in sight?

For years in Britain we have seen the issue of the Poverty Trap.

Basically, if you get (I’m not sure of the figures as I have never claimed) £100 a week for being unemployed.

You get a job, this means that you earn £120 a week.

You also get about £60 a week in various benefits (such as constantly having children). Once you get a job, these benefits are taken away. As a result, you now have £120 a week instead of £160.

Amazingly, despite the government’s tax credits, we have not yet seen an end to this poverty trap.

What is the answer? Is there one at all?

Surely, any answer has to start as a culture change. People are not able to appreciate the fact that just because they are earning less than they would on benefits now, that they won’t, through promotions and the like, earn more than those benefits in the near future.

People are even less able to appreciate the fact that just having a job means that, rather than being a net taker from society, you can actually begin to give a lot more, and with that comes a lot more self-respect. Lets not forget that unemployment often leads to depression and feelings of worthlessness.

The solution to this has to start at home. There are 2 schools of thought as to why the spiral of benefits continues. One is that the children see 3 generations of parents on benefits and as a result they decide that is what they are going to do themselves. The other is that children see their parents on benefit and decide that is no life they want for themselves.

I myself, would be massively inclined to the latter. If however, my parents had never told me the importance of education, and were barely educated themselves, I’m not so sure that I would have this viewpoint.

The poverty trap can only be solved through encouraging people to actually gain a work ethic in the first place. So many people in the UK, are, to put it bluntly, workshy layabouts who want to sponge off of the state until their dying day. And I can tell you one thing for sure, the majority of those people are not immigrants from Eastern Europe.

Firstly, parents need to take a lot more responsibility. Sure, you might have ruined your life by not going to school, that should mean that you never let your child make the same mistake. If your child does not end up properly completing their education, you messed up. If your child comes straight out of school at 16 and onto benefits. You messed up.

End the self perpetuating poverty cycle, which can only be done from within. The education system is there, even if you are not in a very good comprehensive, if you have a decent work ethic, you can get good grades, even if it is an uphill struggle.

But once you reach the top, you will have a much better view than from half way up.

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