Dependancy – Food Banks and Payday Money Lenders

I was listening to a podcast the other week, and I have been reading, about the UKs dependency on the network of Food Banks throughout the UK.

A Food Bank is usually a voluntary organisation that supplies food to people are in financial need. Food is donated by the public and distributed throughout a network of banks. Service users need to be referred to the bank and organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureaus are ticket holders; as they are free advice service they tend to see people who are more financially vulnerable than others dealing with debt issues.

There has been a phenomenal increase in the take up of Food Banks in the last 5 years. Partly due to the increased exposure of them through mainstream and social media, but also due to the harsh public funding cuts to subsistence level welfare benefits and the, close to complete removal, of free legal advice under different Legal Aid Schemes. Further cuts are planned according to the government to help balance the books in the times of this austerity that we live in, due to the past government’s failings blah blah blah…

As an aside to this, despite recent legislation enforcing stricter rules on such schemes, payday money lender use is also on the increase; I assume this will be in part be due to some of the reasons noted above.

My concern with these two practices and with the further reduction in welfare spending is that people are becoming dependent on the schemes. Food Banks and payday loans are supposed to be a last resort. Regardless of how they are marketed, payday loans should not be used on a regular basis. Why should they? Particularly workers on a salary, or fixed income. I know that in recent times it has been a luxury to find such work, but there is growth and more reliability in income.

As I am writing this I can see that Tesco is to close 43 of its stores which is not going to help my case in what I am about to say but please do hear me out.

A person should not have to rely on voluntary assistance to get food on their table. Yes, they may have debts, and yes, they may have limited income. But there are circumstances and systems in place to make sure that essential expenditure is still affordable to your household. It can be held up in court as well going through insolvency procedures to further safeguard the chasing of creditors.

I heard on the radio a lady who did work. She stated that she could not afford or survive without her payday money lender. She had been using the same place for over 12 months. Why? Her income had not changed in that period. She knew what she was getting each month yet the risk was taken to borrow money at extortionate rates to fund something – this was not divulged. Why was she not living within her means. What was missing? This was not addressed on the radio show and it further legitimises the practice.

We need to start being more truthful to ourselves about what is affordable. Higher prices are driven by people willing to pay higher prices. We can afford these higher prices through money that is not ours which increases priced further. The housing market would become more affordable, food and gas would become more affordable, food! These prices will stay elevated for as long as we keep propping them up with money that doesn’t truly exist in our accounts.

Taking out payday loans and taking free food will always keep the price of luxury and non-luxury items at a premium and we need to take a long hard look at how we deal with finances as a whole.



The price of oil is at a very low place. This appears to concerning a lot of people, this is with good reason; for the people who stand to lose out on being able to sell oil. The oil producing nations are miffed about the US having shale gas but are remaining stubborn about their oil prices and what they can still offer the global economy.

I read on Business Insider that the falling price of oil is bad. And it is, for those oil producing countries. There will be job losses, there will be debt problems, there will be implications to other nations that are intrinsically linked to the oil producing nation through trade deals and purely by being neighbours.

There will be winners and losers, and ultimately, as long as we all insist on being an oil loving economy, we will all lose. The price of oil will drop to a place where it will be uneconomical to keep trying to retrieve it. Even when the prices do go up, which they will, the cost of starting a new retrieval or re-retrieval of old sites will be very expensive. Oil production will reduce to nothing, with companies knowing there is still oil available, and chugging out what they can to make the most of the lucrative scraping of the barrel.

Why and how has this been able to happen. We have been extracting oil at record numbers for decades and we have known, or certainly I have known from a very young age, that as a fossil fuel it will run out. Why did we think that we could maintain the rate of extraction without the risk of finances getting in the way first? I remember hearing that we there are enough deposits to keep us going but that they will run out. We know that burning these fossil fuels is damaging our planet through carbon emissions yet we still extracted them.

We had to. Nothing new has been developed to even try and replace oil and coal to the extent that these fuels sustain our global economy. We now have no choice but to confront to evils to the planet, the fact that global warming is going to swallow many low lying nations, and the reason for this happening won’t even exist anymore. Do the current generation of people care about this. I suspect not. It is not pressing enough. The wealthiest 1% in the world can do something about, they can invest in research into new power sources that are efficient and powerful, hydrogen technology, nuclear technology, hydro-electric, wind, solar, there are options available. There must be improvements available to these existing renewables. There must be something more than lip service to the fact that a renewable is being used.

Oil coming down in price is great, I’m travelling further and so is haulage. Economies can thrive off this for the time being. But what is the point in growing an economy when, if we don’t improve what we know can sustain us, is eventually going to drive us to darkness.

Ched Evans

… Is a rapist. He committed a crime. He was tried by his peers and he was found guilty by jury. I have no sympathy for him and am not condoning his actions.

He was sentenced to 5 years in prison for his crime. He has served half of that sentence which means that he is now due to be released – as is the way in most UK prisons. I am a legal advisor commenting on what I am seeing on the TV at the moment.

Even before he has been released there are calls from the media and the public to ensure that he does not return to his former employment. Reasons stated that he is a rapist he shouldn’t be able to go back. He has shown no remorse for actions and therefore he has not been punished enough and that his sentence should have been longer.

Are these not pointers that the sentencing judge had at their disposal in the first place? The sentence was laid down in accordance to the law and was deemed an appropriate sentence for the crime. Why then therefore should he not be allowed to return to work? He will not be tagged, but he will be on the sex offenders register for life.

His lack of remorse is due to the fact that he does not think he raped anyone. A glance at website would suggest that he instructed counsel to lodge a second appeal to try and overturn the conviction – we’ll see. His lack of remorse would have been taken into account though and for that reason once his time his spent he should be adjudged as been punished and ‘rehabilitated’. If he does anything well that’s a different story – his record won’t be so favourable for him, he is tarnished, let him get on with it and let the justice system do what it has to do.

My main angst against the matter is what if he wasn’t a footballer, would anybody care? I would hazard a guess at no. His trade is kicking a ball around, it is very lucrative, but that is what he trained himself to do, what would he do otherwise? The dressing room is forever going to be different around him due to his profile, from non-league to premier league he is known for the wrong reasons. Any coach that takes him on will be bestowing tremendous trust in him and he will have to work hard to show that he is a reformed man, regardless of what he thinks of his own innocence, to win over the fans.

As Welsh football supporter I watched Wales beat Cyprus the other day without him. He is just another person in the criminal justice system.

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