The UK’s Independent reports a tragic story from Scotland. It reports that a bed-ridden stroke victim was told to use food banks after an administrative error left him and his wife facing extreme poverty. Alan Buchanan, 65, has been bed bound after suffering several major seizures since he had his first stroke 15 years ago, and the once successful businessman is now entirely dependent on his wife Heather and the occasional visits of carers. The couple, from the small Scottish town of Callander, near Loch Lomond, said they now fear homelessness after their benefits were stopped because of an administrative error.
Whilst this is an extreme example, it highlights the impact of austerity and what happens when the social safety nets are removed. It also questions the wisdom of outsourcing to large consulting firms like Atos, who are probably more interested in their own profitability than social care, driven by partners with massive incomes.
Of course, even if this is an isolated story, the growing dependence on food banks highlights the realities of austerity.
With a general election looming, it surprises me how few people realize that matters will get much tougher post Brexit. The media should be presenting independently commissioned risk analysis showing the worst case scenarios post Brexit with higher taxes, fewer jobs, slashed public services and limited real change to immigration. The election is about more than Brexit.