Undeniable damage done to mental and physical health by low income debt & hunger CULPABLY IGNORED by local & national government. Councils taxing means tested benefits shredded by national government

18 December 2017

The following letter was published in The Guardian on Saturday. 

For the poor "It's just one thing on top of another"

Frank Field is right to highlight the very unreasonable state-imposed stress that leads to suicidal thoughts among benefit claimants. “It’s just one thing on top of another,” was the cry from a 50-year-old single adult in London trying to pay off rent and council tax arrears, which had piled up when he had no income as a result of a three-month benefit sanction, out of £73.10 a week jobseekers’ allowance. He was then forced by the jobcentre into a zero-hours contract and moved on to universal credit, both leaving him without income again for weeks at a time. Then the bailiff called at 7.30am demanding £400 for a TV licence fine, and his fees, to be paid the next morning.
Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers against Poverty
The undeniable damage done to mental and physical health by low income, debt and hunger has been culpably ignored by local and national government.
Councils are taxing means tested benefits which have been shredded by national government - 3.5 million late and non-payers summoned to magistrates for arrears last year.

The undeniable evidence is in the nine blogs on the TAP website, which are shown below.

Following our social media campaign of ten blogs on affordable housing (the index is here)TAP published the index of the nine blogs in our Health Equality Campaign. The series is exploring the alarming and damaging depth of health inequality in modern Britain.

Dr Angela Donkin of the Institute of Health Equity,

Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett of the Equality Trust and

Carl Walker, of the University of Brighton and of Psychologists Against Austerity

wrote three blogs each about income, debt, hunger & health.

Madeleine Power, of the University of York contributed the 9th Blog

are writing three blogs each about income, debt, hunger & health.

Each blog  tackles the stark reality of health inequality in modern Britain. Our writers examine the socio-economic factors that govern life chances, as UK citizens are increasingly left at the mercy of a ruthless postcode lottery that dictates mortality rates and incidence of .low birth-weight. The blogs demonstrate why it is a national disgrace. 



BLOG 1 Dr Angela Donkin - Incomes are too low for children to live a healthy life from birth to death

BLOG 2 Carl Walker - The people’s money management skills are good; the State creates problem debts for vulnerable individuals and families, which are linked to the most profound anxiety, anger and suicide.

BLOG 3 Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett - Being on wrong end of inequality leads to more depression, mental illness, addiction and imprisonment 

BLOG 4 Dr Angela Donkin - Billions lost in productivity, taxes, welfare payments & extra costs in NHS. Work across Government to improve well-being and reduce costs – otherwise everybody loses.

BLOG 5 Carl Walker - Upturn in suicides due to recession not reversed now unemployment levels have fallen - Largest fall in real wages for 50 years – increase in mental health problems.

BLOG 6 Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett - Government enacts policies that make child poverty worse & demonises parents. We tolerate overblown salaries and tax avoidance and shocking childhood deprivation in the UK

BLOG 7 Dr Angela Donkin - Allowing the UK to sleepwalk into a proliferation of insecure work is short sighted, damages health and costs the taxpayer.

BLOG 8 Carl Walker - Studies beginning to highlight a burden of human suffering follows austerity Carl Walker TAP health equality

BLOG 9  Maddy Power , Kate Pickett & Richard Wilkinson -  Food Bank Britain. In austerity politics the state drops responsibility for preventing hunger. 


Please sign Haringey council tax health and well-being petition