Working for Poverty & Self-Employment

‘It doesn’t pay to work’.  This is something I have heard for many years and the words have caused me great discomfort.  It is often perceived that living on benefits is a comfy lifestyle option, and with great analysis I have reached my own conclusion, which of course I am sharing as we all know I love to put the world to rights, as I see it.

My working life began age 14.  I was working as a waitress for £2.50 an hour.  An eight and a half hour working day bought me in £21.25p.  You will see an image below to evidence this (I had no idea why I had kept this for nearly 30 years until now.  I just trusted that I needed to!).  The wage slip is from when I had just turned 15, and it was before I was issued an NI number.  The minimum wage today, 27 years later is £3.70 for an apprentice, and £4.20 for school leaving age.  Source Acas

You can start to see where I am going with this, but at this point I recommend getting a coffee, as I have much to say on the matter!

When you look at inflation of property, food, living costs, fuel, taxes, and everything else, nothing compares, nothing at all (sorry Sinead).  It is beyond diabolical and completely unforgivable.  You will know if you follow my blogs that I do not do stats, I am quite simply too lazy, but here are some links for you to read A Telegraph article from ‘last week’ on how prices have changed over 30 years and A Sunlife article from 2016 on house prices The Telegraph article is great to read, I love seeing that the collective consciousness is on the same page with this.  You will see that there is evidence of a 500% house price increase.  That would suggest to me that the intern should now be on a minimum wage of £12.50 an hour, and the minimum wage should be more like £20 an hour (at least).  You may think that is completely unreasonable but unfortunately that is society following suit.  Employers are all following government guidelines and consequently are getting away with it, enjoying huge profits and fat top line salaries at the expense of their employees.  CIPD have recently published a report which again, is music to my ears about employee wellbeing with respect to financial strain, I am passionate about employee wellbeing and this report supports that low pay causes stress.  Read it here

Now I appreciate that the government are making some attempts to address ‘equal pay’ and I am pleased to see that the government plan to introduce CEO / Employee pay gap reporting see People Management article written by Dawn Lewis but I fear the workers on the ground are still left living in poverty whilst the government are too afraid to tackle the real issue – that is a ridiculously low minimum / living wage.  It is modern day slavery at it’s very best, and most concealed.

Employers are kidding themselves that the wages they are paying are acceptable, and that it is okay for their staff to live in poverty whilst they enjoy living in the top 10%.  Please! What is wrong with us? How is this acceptable? How has this happened?  Who calculates the living wage? Shame on you.  Is this a presumption that two people share the bills? A very historic assumption.  Is this genuine ignorance of today’s living costs? An average minimum of £1k per month on rent and bills (outside of London), for a single person.  With a minimum wage of £7.83 for age 25 and over, your average ‘hard-working’ adult, working a 40 hour week (9-5 – Man Made Manslaughter – see my earlier blog post) is bringing in £1357 before deductions, so take home pay is on average around £1,100 on a good month.  There simply is not enough money to cover outgoings, food and travel costs and so people are living on credit and in a desperate cycle to break free from the poverty.

It is clear that many are shouting out about this issue, but it is not being properly addressed, and certainly not quick enough, this needs to change and it needs to change very very quickly.  That brings me to talk about why people are choosing the ‘option’ of entrepreneurism, why we have so many new small businesses. I use the word ‘option’ very loosely, as actually I believe this to be a desperate measure to escape the trap that is our current work culture.  Now I have already highlighted my earlier 9-5 blog above, this is not new news – Dolly Parton sang about it in 1980!  Listen to the words!

What we have is a ‘desperate’ situation, now I really do not believe that anybody ‘wants’ to live on benefits.  It is the most degrading, humiliating situation to be in and one aspect of this was beautifully depicted in the recent movie I Daniel Blake.  I could personally relate to some of the scenes in this movie.  As a proud working woman who barely took a day off in 20 years, to then suddenly go from being a home-owner career girl to a single mum in receipt of benefits was such a shock.  I had no idea what tax credits were in my early 30’s, and the brief six months I turned to Income Support following the end of my maternity leave were soul destroying.  Now whilst I was very grateful that my daughter wasn’t torn from my arms as it was for my grandparents generation, to be sanctioned for borrowing £20 from my mum and not declaring it and having my bank statements scrutinised like some sort or criminal is something I will never forget.  To lose the freedom of your own income and to have people look at you like you are sponging scum despite 20 years contributions is something I do not believe anybody would choose.  My point?

Well my point is that it does not pay to work when wages are as low as benefits.  Living on benefits is seriously tight, it is living in poverty and there is no money for luxuries, and so it ‘does’ pay to work, for the sense of wellbeing it gives you and the opportunity to increase that income, but the income is rarely increased, only freedom is lost, childcare costs are added from 3pm if you are a parent and transport costs and of course the holiday period.  So many people are turning to being self-employed and turning into entrepreneurs because it is a desperate measure.  A desperate measure to escape the 9-5 and to have the chance to earn more than £10 an hour.  (which is still too low!).  All of these problems are man-made (or as somebody pointed out to me the other day ‘person-made – sorry – to PC for me, again we are allowing ourselves to be sheep trained).  We are human beings and we need to stop greed at the top.  We need fair pay, and fair hours.  With better pay, working in school hours can be a ‘choice’ living without luxuries can be a ‘choice’, a choice to pick up your children and give-up take-outs.

I appreciate that certain professions offer a good wage, and there are brilliant opportunities to re-train to work in a higher paid job, and there will always be a difference in income, but the difference is too grand.  The bottom line should not be poverty.  Top 10% and bottom 10% is not a fair way to divide the hard workers in this country.  I still hear people complain that ‘anybody’ can go to university now, these people are oblivious to their own privileges.  Everybody deserves the chance to be the very best they can be.

Wellbeing will seriously increase when these changes are made.  NHS costs will decrease, road accidents will decrease, ill health will decrease, crime will reduce (yes, much crime is fuelled by anger and need for money) .  Benefit claimants will decrease.  If you cannot see that I urge you to dig deep.  I have recently discovered the Joseph Rowntree Foundation – this tag links to an article entitled ‘Almost a quarter of people in Wales are trapped in poverty’.  When I see the articles and hard work of the JRF, and Shelter, and such charities I wonder, why isn’t anything changing? It is so obvious.  Pay is too low.  Pay is too low.  Come-on Government, look, the pay is too low.  You have been chosen to govern the country to look after society, and look what is happening under your power, on your watch.   You can change this.  Not in 20 years, not in 10.  Right now.  Don’t worry about ‘where the money will come from’ worry about where money will be saved.  For a start people will not need to top up their wages with HB or TC,  NHS will save money on drugs (a much bigger outlay than wages), and people will want to work if they can pick up their kids and be paid a wage in line with inflation.

I have another beef.  the lottery, I have mentioned it before.  If you think that people are gambling responsibly you are deluded.  Most people are gambling out of sheer desperation to escape poverty.  The government are getting greedy.  People are being tricked into funding lottery funded projects because they are desperate to win some money.  Now I know that the lottery supports some really good causes, but you ask people if they would donate to these causes if there wasn’t a chance to win, probably not – not because they are selfish, or don’t care, but because they are living in poverty and cannot afford to support other causes.  It is all too greedy.  When it was £1 a week that was a reasonable amount for people to gamble, that was ‘responsible’, but now it is most nights, £2.50 per go sometimes, people have the same numbers they are afraid of missing and consequently are paying at least £50 per month – that they cannot afford out of their income, because they are desperate.  You have allowed this to happen Gov.  not feeling very proud right now.

I conclude.  People are not really lazy, they want to work, working can be fun, being around people is healthy, having a steady wage is lovely, but entrepreneurism seems to be the only hope at the moment to escape poverty and achieve work-life balance, but hope is what it is, again the stats speak for themselves that this is not an easy option, it is a desperate option, because the wages are not properly governed.

As a country we have a collective responsibility to make some significant changes, and this must be addressed by our government, who we trust and nominate to take care of our wellbeing as a society.  Workers will not challenge the wage offered to them, how can they? They will fear losing the job altogether, and where we accept this income we make a rod for our own backs, but what choice do we have when we are powerless to do anything about it?  We need to make the change happen higher up the ladder, we need protection, help, support, we need to be looked after as members of society, we are happy to work, but unless the house prices are going to decrease 400% and bills equally, the wage needs to inflate, and it’s the job of the country’s leaders to make that happen.

I would like to make a few additional points:

Rich House Poor House is a lovely documentary that sensitively highlights the wage divide.  Please watch it whatever your status.

Can’t pay we’ll take it away – I’m not offering a link this one.  It disgusts me how we are filming people at their lowest, these people are in genuine despair and it is being used as entertainment.  We are behaving like animals not helping them.  If you think they choose not to pay you are ignorant, for that you can be forgiven, but you need to understand the reality by watching Rich House Poor House.

If you are looking at setting up a business but are in poverty charities such as Fredericks Foundation may be able to help you.

It is not okay to spend a lifetime renting.  A mortgage would only last 20-40 years.  When you rent you never get that light at the end of the tunnel and never lose that overhead.   See my earlier rental blog here

Empty properties need filling.  Flats should be a lifestyle choice or stop gap in your twenties whilst having enough disposable income to save.

I firmly believe that there would be a lot less hatred for immigration if people weren’t living in poverty and feeling threatened and equally obesity would decline if people had the finances and the time to eat properly and be more active.

There are so many fundamental errors with our way of thinking, our system, we cannot rely on the lottery to bail us out, we have a collective responsibility to make things change, if you are struggling you need to shout louder, and if you are a wealthy employer you need to ask if a portion of your wealth is blood money?  And if you are justifying it because you are a sheep?

Sharing with love not hate, as always.

I apologise for typos, it’s late and I’m not reading this long blog before I post it! Feel free to point out spelling & grammar and I’ll tweak later!   Ta.

Pay Slip 1991

 

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‘If this Rat could talk’ ‘Depression’ and ‘Mental Health Disorder’

This report is to support chapter 16 of my book ‘Finding Happiness and Freeing Your Spirit’.  Available on Amazon Kindle Finding Happiness and Freeing Your Spirit.

I have expressed via my blogs and book that I feel that there are two problems with Depression and Mental Health Disorder.  One is that it is labelled Depression, and two that it is labelled Mental Health Disorder.  You see Depression sounds depressing and to tell somebody who is experiencing the symptoms categorized under depression that they are depressed will actually further activate stress hormones (namely cortisol) which is hugely detrimental.  Equally to classify it as mental health makes it sound as though it is all in the mind, and making somebody who is experiencing extreme stress believe that they are mental not only insults the condition but makes the person suffering feel even worse than they already do.

It is crucial to raise awareness of the Physical changes occurring in the body when one experiences a ‘Depression’ so that they have the maximum power to help their body override these physical occurrences and regain control of their physical body.

This report is named ‘If this Rat could talk’ for the reason as stipulated on the tin.  I am not a Doctor or Scientist; they have explicit knowledge and they could run a series of tests on a lab rat and come up with the exact rises and fluxes and by the recorded reactions they could give a well-documented report on what is happening with that rat, but if the rat could talk it would give insight into something that cannot be easily measured by science or education.  And so I am that talking rat, and it is with my intrinsic knowledge that I offer my layman theory of ‘Depression’, and the certified professionals can interpret this ‘inside knowledge’ to apply scientific theories and effectively help people.

First and foremost the most important thing that I want to get across is that the condition labelled as ‘Depression’ is a physical condition and not a ‘Mental Health Disorder’.  Yes there are neurotransmitters that respond to the release of cortisol, the hormone cortisol.  Hormones are a ‘physical’ internal make-up and you do not see teenagers in puberty or women during menopause as being labelled with a ‘Mental Health Disorder’, their physical surges are recognised, understood and treatment is available to increase happy-hormones and create hormone balance, at least it is in the menopause, teenagers still largely suffer in silence.  Equally alternative wellbeing advice is offered such as healthy diet and exercise as these are well known to regulate hormones and help the body fight cortisol.

So it is not wrong for people to suggest these methods when talking about ‘depression’, they are right in that if the body has higher levels of positive endorphins and serotonin etc. the body is better equipped to fight the over production of cortisol.

So my theory is this, instead of an adrenaline rush producing fight or flight reactions the over production of cortisol makes the body shut down in a similar extreme reaction to stress.

People who have very good access to ‘happy-hormones’ due to exercising in ‘comfort’, not having financial worries, having company (crucial for oxytocin) and healthy diet (bread is cheaper than fruit) are naturally better guarded against extreme cortisol production.  Even when you can feel the stress rising, if you can quickly engage in happy hormone activity you may be able to prevent it rising to a dangerous level.

The thing is that level.  I suspect that there are various reasons why some people produce a normal healthy amount of cortisol in response to stress (it is a human survival instinct to identify when something is not right), and some just keep producing the cortisol.  It may be genetic make-up or it may be related to earlier trauma.  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was once thought to be a post war disorder but it has since been recognised that PTSD is equal in post war veterans and subjects of childhood trauma.   So it is possible that the body once stressed and cortisol is produced is afraid, unable to cope, cannot see the light through the dark literally, and the person wants to curl up in a ball and sees no ability to cope with this life, with thoughts that family and friends would be better off or relieved if they were gone.  It is a very horrible, frightening and traumatic state to be in, and your body is physically taken out of your hands as you are traumatised.  Once you are in this state of being you are not ‘fed-up’ or ‘stressed’ our ‘down’ or ‘sad’.  To go for a walk or to the gym, put on music or cook a delicious healthy meal is extremely difficult because you are debilitated, you find it difficult enough to cope, to move, to function; function probably being the best word of choice, to function is just so very difficult.  Of course like a zombie you know that you have certain commitments that you must fulfil and so somehow you function but it is internally crippling as you are working against your body and putting further strain on your system.

Eventually the cortisol levels will reduce to a ‘safe’ level, when you are no longer wishing to impale yourself and you are able to function and practice self-help techniques as mentioned above to bring yourself into a happier place, this is when you can go for a walk.  And when the cortisol lifts you feel amazing, strong, you have survived and you swear you will never get ‘down’ like that again.  It is only when it happens again, again and again that you must face up to the fact that your body is attacking you.  It is not your brain.  You are of sound mind and you know how lucky you are.  You know that people in the world are worse off; you know that you have food in the cupboard and a bed to sleep in and a beautiful family and that you have no reason to get into the complete state of helplessness or rage.

You realise that you have a problem, the outside world suggest that you have a ‘Mental Health Disorder’, are you really mental?  That is very upsetting when you know that you are of sound mind and that this is something despite your own very strong will you seem completely unable to control.  You are then identified as having ‘depression’ of some sort at least, but you are a happy person, you love life and you don’t want to walk around saying that you are ‘depressed’, that suggests that you are miserable and many people still to this day still say ‘depression and all that rubbish’, and I firmly believe that to be a poor description of the pure darkness that occasionally, or regularly attacks you when your body physically over produces Cortisol when it is triggered by stress.

Of course medicine recognises that delivering hormones will help to work against the cortisol and these can be effective but ultimately lowering the body’s natural ability to defend itself and naturally produce happy-hormones and self-regulate does not really help long term.

A crucial part of learning to live with ‘depression’ is to be on top of your triggers and be in tune with your body so that you know when cortisol is kicking in; if you act extremely quickly you may be able to reduce the cortisol levels.   If you let people around you understand how they can help they really can help.  Sometimes you have to be really quiet and still if possible, keep yourself in a safe and calm environment until the cortisol reduces, which may be a few hours or a few days, but once you are aware of what is going on and once you trust that you are in a dark place that is NOT your fault, you will help your body recover so that it can function normally again.  Just like an open wound to the bottom of your foot, you know you need to let the body work its miracle to heal it before you put weight on it.  Well the body is just as sophisticated at healing over production of cortisol if you don’t beat yourself up and let it do its work.

Oxytocin, another hormone, is crucial to the recovery of a dark episode, this is commonly known as the love hormone and you literally do need love and affection to produce oxytocin and oxytocin is the greatest warrior against cortisol.  Naturally, and I use that word in a loaded sense, you will or at least you are unlikely to experience a ‘depressive’ episode when you are ‘in-love’ as your oxytocin levels are so high your cortisol does not stand a chance.  It is no wonder so many people are in love with being ‘in-love’, it is the best position in life to operate from.  But the good news is that even when single you can produce oxytocin.  Either with the love of a pet, or just talking, now picking up the phone to talk to someone is the last thing you want to do when you are ‘depressed’ and we have already established that that is not my choice word for the condition.  But, once you let somebody you trust understand that sometimes a trigger means that your body overproduces cortisol into a state of inability to function it is easier to respond when they call and ask if you’re ok with a simple ‘No’ that is all you need, and then without the horrific responses of ‘think positive’, or ‘go for a walk’ or ‘put the music on’ or ‘think yourself happy’ they will know that all they need to do is keep you on the phone, just let the conversation flow.  When you are forced into talking your body is actually producing happy hormones instead of stress hormones.  And it does not have to be a happy conversation, it just has to be active talking, even if quiet, preferably for a minimum of 20 minutes.

Additionally if you do have somebody in the house with you it’s just gentle touch, or a hug, a decent hug, without talk of ‘what’s wrong’, this will give your body a chance to naturally produce oxytocin, this will help your physical body physically fight the cortisol behind the scenes.  Of course you don’t feel it, it’s just amazing when you realise that you are starting to function again, and that the darkness has lifted.

Even when you are completely alone and you do not have people to help you you can help yourself by practicing self-love.  Historically frowned upon but self-love and self-compassion is more widely talked about and accepted as the norm these days and you should not be shy of being kind to yourself,  you must believe that you are worthy of love and be your own good friend.  Again once the darkness has taken hold this is scary and hard to do but you need to do what you would tell your best friend to do.  Force yourself into the bathroom, force yourself into the bath, see it as bandaging a wound, you have to gently force your body into a ‘nice’ situation so that it can help heal itself.  If you can keep some dark chocolate in the house, even though your body will naturally want to carb load (for serotonin) at this point, drag yourself to the cupboard, force feed yourself a single square of dark chocolate which will help your serotonin and dopamine happy hormones and release endorphins subtly helping your recovery, it really does help!

You may find once you are out of the bath or once you have had a hug or talk that you are able to put some quiet background music on.  Force high level happy music on yourself and your body may resist increasing stress further but if this is non-intrusive and quiet your body will respond naturally to the positive vibe and all of a sudden you are winning, you are physically regaining control and the cortisol has not managed to maintain its debilitating high.

Of course going back to the advice on natural health and all the ways that you can naturally and proactively make your body release happy hormones on a daily basis (male and female – there are strong links with stress affecting testosterone, libido and increasing ‘depression’). But you do need to be in a particularly good position to be able to enjoy life’s simplicities that offer these happy hormones in abundance, and the sad reality is that many people have struggles that hinder these processes and more triggers to cortisol than access to wellbeing.  The crucial difference to understand between different human beings is why some produce a healthy amount of cortisol and why some produce a truly debilitating level of cortisol leaving them vulnerable and questioning their own mental wellbeing.

It is crucial when learning to manage your own darkness to identify triggers and avoid these situations.  If you are living in a stressful way you may have to change your life.  Change is never easy and that is why people don’t change what seems obvious.  If you are in a volatile or simply unloving relationship you owe it to yourself and anybody affected by you to remove yourself from that situation.  If you have a diet high in white flour and sugar you have to understand what these chemicals are doing to your body and cut them out. (white flour blocks oestrogen which is crucial for stabilising hormones).  Money problems will trigger stress so make manageable agreements as soon as possible, you don’t have to wait for the money problems to go to reduce stress you just have to know they are managed.  Work stress – get out as soon as you can without adding to other stresses, again by taking control of the situation your body is already producing dopamine instead of cortisol as it knows that you will be rewarded in six months instead of in the same job in six months.  Friends, toxic relationships, the list goes on, the key is to recognising it, being brutally honest with yourself and then seeing what you can change and start the ball rolling.

You will hope that you never get another trigger but just be as prepared as possible for when you do.  Have people in the loop of how to respond to you, arm yourself with goodness, if you are female tap into your natural cycle so that you are more aware of when to avoid stressful situations.  Avoid social media triggers and news triggers, make sure you have plenty of positive affirmations in your eye line, not because you consciously need reminding but so that your body has a constant happy hormone boost instead of or in preparation of a cortisol strike.

You are not mental and you do not have to beat yourself up for what people tell you is conscious behaviour.  You are fighting a physical debilitating reaction to normal triggers and you will recover and deal with each episode better the more you learn what is physically happening to you.

The only thing that society, Dr’s and Scientists need to understand is that people who fall under the classification of ‘depressed’ are experiencing a physically debilitating internal hormone attack of over production of cortisol that is preventing them for a short period of time from functioning in a healthy way, often leading to rash decisions.  As a society we need to target the triggers, combat loneliness and poverty and make comfortable exercise and a healthy diet easily accessible to all.

Some triggers will never be avoidable (heartbreak) but some can be worked on.

My personal idea is that ‘depression’ is highly linked to empaths.  Empaths are sensitive people acutely aware of negative energy / when they are being lied to and so it makes sense that their highly intelligent internal physical make-up will become more stressed by production of high levels or cortisol when exposed to / triggered by these external factors.  They are less resilient to the man-made society that we live in.   They are more in tune with Mother Nature and the natural state of being.  To tell an ‘earth angel’ that they have a mental disorder is profoundly damaging and this will cause high levels of internal stress, manifesting itself in physical illness and often leading the (beautifully) sensitive person to escapism via toxic diet or behaviour and causing a divide between loved ones.

Note that this report is based on a decade of background reading, experiences, observation, various self and external diagnosis such as cyclothymic, aspie, depressed, PMDD, SAD, and it is an accurate observation of this lab rat that can talk.  I kept a daily diary for a period of two years measuring every possible trigger and contributor.  I can tell you that cookies are dangerous!  You can also escape the danger of rash decision making during an ‘episode’, once you are acutely aware you can delay sharing your decisions (such as quitting, emigrating, moving, ending relationships etc) until a week after your episode, 9 times out of 10 you will not go ahead with that very certain decision that you made a week earlier!

My conclusion is that the way to tackle ‘depression’ is a tall order and that society needs to adjust itself from birth, education and work-life balance to cater for different variations of human being.   You already have places such as coexist working with peoples natural energies experiencing highly productive work in team members who are able to lay low when the cortisol kicks in.

We simply need to actively work towards a kinder more altruistic way of living.  Yes oxytocin really is a large part of the answer, along of course with controlling what you can in terms of stress!  There is significant room for debate on what drives entrepreneurs and entry into various professions; I firmly believe it is down to this inner knowing that this man-made system is very bad for your health.  It is not healthy to leave the house before sunrise and be subject to a heavy commute, with strict time management all day and a pay check at the end of the month that leaves no disposable income.  It is not natural to ‘have’ to leave your child (more than you want to) nor is it natural to struggle to find time to ‘enjoy’ exercise and healthy cooking.  When you know from childhood that you are being moulded into something that you are not this makes education very challenging.

Life needs a shake-up and it is doable, it just needs enough people in the right positions to accept the real problem and make changes.  Nothing is impossible in terms of what is man-made, just hard.

We need to stop labelling people with Higher Perspective with whichever ‘Disorder’ fits the bill.  It is not a disorder to know when something is wrong.  If anything it is a disorder to think that everything is okay.

People are having breakdowns and committing suicide on a daily basis not because they are mental, but because they are misunderstood, feeding crime and aggressive behaviour.

Namaste.  Mitakuye Oyasin.

Google Leptin Famine Fat Cortisol

My Formal Graduation – Summarising the Journey        

My journey began when I still a child and tests indicated that I was ‘inadequate’ from a very early age.  Consequently I continued mostly unstimulated through school with the clear message that I should not expect to achieve anything outstanding.  Knowing that I was not one of the intelligent ones gave me little drive to do well in GCSE’s and I just ‘did my time’.

Of course further education seemed pointless and 20 years of solid employment followed feeling like I had well and truly slipped through the net.  Even though I knew I could achieve great things I plodded on fitting into the average and unfulfilling roles fitting for my careers advice.

By the time I was 35 I was depressed and I had struggled so much throughout life basically down to lack of adequate knowledge to enable me to thrive in adulthood.  It was when I fell pregnant, in the knowledge that I would be a single-mum that I was determined not to see my daughter struggle and be the subject of stereotypical poverty that I took a leap of faith in my abilities.

I embarked on a Law Degree with the Open University and I am so glad I did.  The parallel design of the KIH Bed and formation of KIH Products was quite accidental but I had a duty to share the product that I had designed, and to do so in a professional, quality and responsible way.

In the first year of my degree I gave birth, had my home repossessed, my employer sold the business and I was rapidly becoming a stereotypical single mum struggling with adversity but fighting for my life, or at least the life of my child.  The remaining years were spent moving several times due to rejection for ‘normal’ homes subject to status and constantly trying to find the right home, several attempts to secure work that would allow me to be there for my child whilst enabling me to earn enough not to recoup contributions, and building up the business whilst somehow pinning my eyes open to read law books every time my daughter slept.

Note the repossession came following me seeking advice, from the mortgage company.   I knew I could not afford the mortgage and I also knew that I could not be a responsible landlord without maintenance funds.  I was kindly advised to sign over management to the mortgage company so that they could collect rent and pay maintenance directly from the mortgage account.  They followed legal procedure and at the earliest opportunity they evicted my tenant (no rent arrears) and repossessed the house.  I battled arbitration whilst studying et al but they knew what they were doing.  My 10 years and £60K investment was gone in a flash and they sold at a loss leaving me with a deficit I am still liable for to this day.

So despite the pressures of legal battles, business building, house moves, desperately seeking the sanctuary of work around my daughter and many other difficulties thrown in I successfully completed my Law Degree.

Now, as a single-mum, a multi-award-winning entrepreneur (supporting the UK economy and at least 5 UK businesses with every single UK and overseas order), a Law Graduate, and with the confidence and knowledge that I should have had 25 years ago I will continue to rebuild our stability and I will make sure that my daughter is as adequately prepared as possible.

My only aim now is to help, inspire and advise others via whichever mediums possible.

For a country who claims to promote equality, to then measure intelligence and segregate human beings at such a tender age, delivering a very strong, profoundly damaging message is beyond my comprehension.  I used to think that I let the school down, but I can now safely say that it was the school system, not recognising the intelligent, kind, entrepreneurial diamond that stood before them, that let me down.

I have mentioned in my previous blog that Law should be on the National Curriculum, and that every child regardless of status or tests should be entitled to an EQUAL education.  We do not celebrate diversity in children, we try to mould them and make sure that they are far from educated equally, at the earliest given opportunity.

I re-quote:

The National curriculum in England framework gives that and I quote:

Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based* and which:

  • promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society
  • prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life

source 6/10/16: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-framework-for-key-stages-1-to-4/the-national-curriculum-in-england-framework-for-key-stages-1-to-4

If you have struggled with any of the issues contained within this blog and you feel that you need help catapulting yourself forward my small 20 tip book may help you: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Happiness-Freeing-Your-Spirit-ebook/dp/B01M4KBOA3/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479177659&sr=8-1&keywords=finding+happiness+and+freeing

If you cannot afford it e-mail me and I will send you a free pdf. 

Rewarded for being Rich and Penalised for being Poor

Now I have had a rant about 9-5 and about Law and the Curriculum, now let’s rant about…

What kind of country do we live in where it is standard and accepted to fine people for living in poverty!?

Now there are varying definitions of poverty, but I am talking about relative poverty where in this country if one cannot afford to live according to the customary standard of living they will fall info that threshold.  Some regard poverty as not having 50% disposable income… that will raise an eyebrow or ten as I’m quite sure that many could only dream of having 10% ‘disposable income’ let alone 50!  As per my other blogs I will point out that my knowledge is intrinsic and will leave the stats and explicit knowledge to contributors!

My points are quite simple:

If you can pay your telephone line rental annually you pay less than he who ‘chooses’ to pay monthly.

If you can pay your vehicle tax annually you pay less than he who ‘chooses’ to pay monthly, this is much the same with utility bills and any other contract where you have an annual rate that is cheaper than a monthly rate, such as car insurance.  Now I already hear the defensive arguments of the administration costs and business reasons for offering the cheaper rate for annual payments but I am not interested in hiding behind rules here.  What I am interested in what is morally and ethically right.  You see people are already being penalised for not having the money to pay in advance.

Now whichever way you try to dress it up you are making the poor poorer, and you are making the rich richer.  If you run a business then you should expect part of that business to provide payment options as a ‘service’ not a ‘penalty’.  Car insurance ‘providers’ profit in billions as do utility companies and that is because they impose ‘charges’ for late payments, bounced direct debits and so on.  It is wrong.

If you are of the attitude that people should manage their money better then I will say this, you are very lucky to be so ignorant that you do not understand what it is to start life in the red, try to live month by month in the red, and try to build up a contingency in the red so that you can one day pay something annually to give yourself a better chance each month thereafter.  If you are lucky enough not to have ‘had’ to pay things monthly then you are free to leave, with no hard feelings, but please do not judge he who you do not truly understand.

And of course banks, they are not getting off scot free here.  Whoever said it was okay to charge people who are so desperately struggling to have enough money in the bank each week to meet their outgoings.  Again don’t bark terms and conditions and irresponsible spending, you only need to address the statements to see that they could only dream of spending irresponsibly.  I am talking about what is morally wrong, inhumane even.  Sorry my mistake, I am not talking about what is morally wrong.  I AM SHOUTING ABOUT WHAT IS MORALLY WRONG.   I have watched a lot of pain and a lot of suffering over the years; as I have experienced it.  And I have worked my way through it but it has taken decades and the setbacks have been loud and painful.  I am not feeling sorry for myself but what I am doing is kicking off for all those people still in the midst of it, they are suffering and you are profiting from their poverty.  Shame on you!

Even the official school photographs, tempted to name the company but I will not – you get fined for ordering after so many days.  So if you are not living in poverty you can make that very expensive purchase that every parent wants of their child but if you cannot afford to buy the pictures until next month’s payday you are fined.  It makes me feel physically sick that this is how we treat each other and this is how businesses are proud to make their money.  It is unethical and it is penalising the poor.

The banks offer ‘rewards’ i.e. ‘cashback’ for eating out at certain restaurants so again the rich get richer but because the person with no disposable income cannot eat out at a restaurant they do not get rewarded by the bank.  The bank will bounce a Direct Debit with only a shortfall of £2 yet they will charge 10 x that amount setting the poor person back another fortnight with their weekly outgoings and that charge has a huge knock on effect meaning that enough money is not in the account for the next month’s payments!  I can hear a bank manager saying – ‘but we give the customer notice so that they can ensure sufficient funds are in the account to meet the charge’ – oh please! If you are living in poverty without disposable income and without contingency or credit facility where do you think that money is going to come from? I may have mentioned already but it is MORALLY WRONG.

If you have enough disposable income and you are not living in poverty the bank will offer you an overdraft facility, ironic.  Most people in poverty could completely turn their lives around with that facility.  People in poverty are the only people who are not given a fresh chance a clean slate.  You are more likely to get second chances if you commit a crime.  Yet the only crime of someone in poverty is never to have solid ground under their feet in the first place.

If you are ‘rich’ you can get a credit card with less than 5% interest, you can then ‘consolidate’ your credit cards to even less than that and do 0% balance transfers just for using the credit.  If you are living in poverty you will at very best get a 30% credit card but more likely than not if you need to borrow money you will need to pay in the region of 1500% APR.  Again do not judge if you have never been that desperate.  You are not cleverer than the family in poverty you have simply had a different history.

Store cards began by offering customers 20% off their purchase in store if you signed up for a card there and then.  They took advantage of people who needed 20% off.  They then – without checking affordability sent letters out just before Christmas to say ‘we have increased your credit limit by £500’, despite knowing that you have been making minimum payments only for the last 6 months and this minimum payment has paid interest only and your balance remains.  These were and are very naughty tactics.  Let me remind you not to judge here the people who use that extra credit.  Unless you have lived in poverty and have only dreamt of getting your kids presents for Christmas you cannot possibly understand how morally wrong that sales tactic is, now it’s not stupidity that leads the already living on a shoestring budget person to use that credit it is the combination of desperation and optimism.   Optimism that things will get better and that those repayments will be affordable next year!  THE STORE / CREDIT CARDS NEED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR IRRESPONSIBLE LENDING AND SALES TACTICS.

Again I will point out that if you can start one single year with making annual payments in advance for utilities and contracts then you have a grounding for life, now you may have had that opportunity when you were 16 or perhaps when you were 40 but the difference that it makes is life changing, it may even be that you pay things monthly but you are okay because at some point in your life you had a partially disposable income and the opportunity to build a contingency and I am sick of people being penalised and fined for living in poverty.

Our economy is morally corrupt and this is why the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.  Oh and for the record, I think that people would be happy to help others if they weren’t so concerned about their own futures, humans can actually be very good to each other when they aren’t afraid.

FINES AND PENALTIES DO NOT HELP ANYBODY, THEY LEAD TO DISCRIMINATION, POVERTY, AND IN EXTREME CASES, SUICIDE.  GET A GRIP UK DECISION MAKERS, THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT WAY.

If you are struggling to cope please read my book Finding Happiness and Freeing your Spirit – if you are poor e-mail me and I will send you a free pdf.  If you are rich you can buy it! Sorry I’m going against the grain here! Not interested in making the poor poorer…

Now it is late and I am a passionate blogger posting as I am sign-posted so please feel free to point out typos…

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