Child Poverty In Fife | Just Surviving: A Decade Of Austerity In Scotland
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Child Poverty In Fife | Just Surviving: A Decade Of Austerity In Scotland

(Gentle piano and rain sounds)
– It’s always on your mind. It’s always on your mind. I struggle with sleeping,
general anxiety as well. I mean I find myself saying to
my ten year old all the time. Are these trainers all right? You’re not getting picked
on at school or anything? And just trying to quiz
them for things that, I don’t want him to
get picked on about and that’s always on your mind,
it always in your head eh? (sustained distorted piano
chord)(staccato white noise) – The age of irresponsibility, is giving way to an age of austerity. – They’re all good at shouting about that, shouting about that they’re
not looking at the real issues. – The child poverty rates, are staggering. (rapid synth music)
– Over, recent years, hostility has definitely
risen towards disabled people. – And I know there are many dedicated public sector workers who work very hard and did not cause this recession, but they must share the burden
as we pay to clean it up. (Fading staccato bass synth) (wind)(bright piano music) – Child poverty is families
living with not enough means, not enough income, too much expenditure. When I first came in Fife Gingerbread, poverty was not so much an issue. The Welfare reform and how that has rolled it has practically devastated some of our most vulnerable communities. (metal squeaking)(gentle piano) – Definitely in Fife,
Levenmouth, Buckhaven, and the main attent would be
the kind of mining communities the pits went and the eighties, and nothing was ever put
in place to replace that. So basically what you got is, is you’ve got whole
communities who kinda feel like there’s no hope, and there has
been no industrial revolution or, or anything else
that has replaced what used to be proud communities, where families had dignity and
where there was real spirit. The whole universal credit, every single thing has just kinda slowly chipped away at the bricks and what we see as families that don’t have anywhere else to go. (slow sustained low chime sounds) – Up ’till just over a year ago I was on the old system of benefits, the kids and I, wouldn’t
say we were financially well off or anything else, but we survived, paid the bills, managed to get gas, electric,
y’know the necessities and treat the kids
occasionally, things like that. A year ago a change of circumstances made me have to go on to Universal Credit and, it’s just, it’s
absolutely horrendous. (kids playing) I had a period of time that was about five, six weeks,
where I had nothing, we were having to buy gas, food, electric off £34 a week. They’ve had to give up so much, it had a (sigh), an enormous impact on them, because, like yous says, I wouldn’t
say we were well off before or anything else but I was
able to provide for my kids and y’know treat them at times that’s all had to stop,
because I just can’t do it. (kids playing) (soft
piano and low percussion) – Moving over to Universal Credit, there is that time where
there is a waiting list, you’re building up debts as well, because it’s like your housing benefit gets stopped straight away, your council tax benefit
gets stopped straight away. You’re not getting money to survive, and then all these debts
are piling up as well. (gentle piano) (squeaking) – Aiden’s a very polite, timid boy. I’d just like to make sure
that he’s not getting picked on or bullied on because he’s
got cheaper clothes on. – I mean people talk
about the wee phrases like “the poverty premium” and that’s basically what they’re talking about as in when people have no
money they have to pay higher, even things like power, your utilities, so you and me can have
everything all boxed up on a direct debit and you get the
best rate and life is sweet, but if you can’t even
afford to be doing that then you’re working with meter
and you’re charged higher than you would have been. – Most of the families that we
work with are just getting by there is no safety net. The prospect of having five hundred pound in the bank is like a lottery win. – My little girl she’s only eight, so she’s got the whole world in front her, I really hope that she
stays the way she is, she’s so fun loving and kind,
she’d get somewhere in life but unless things change round here, there isn’t much for any of the kids. – I think they will struggle but I’m very optimistic for them as well. They’re amazing, well to
me they’re amazing anyways, they’re great, they’re great kids see, and like anybody you
want the best for them. (soft stings and piano music)


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