Had a visit from a MacMillan person this morning to discuss things financial. During our discussion i learnt that whilst i’m unlucky getting cancer i’m lucky getting it living where i do. For example there is a local charity that helps with all travel costs and i’m not too far from the hospital which is the major cancer treatment hospital for a wide area.
My visitor told me that for many of her clients who live elsewhere it is a very different picture. One case will suffice as an exemplar. A lady in her 80’s has cancer and lives in a small village many miles from the hospital. There is 1 bus a day. The only alternative open to her was a regular taxi at a regular fare, imagine the cost to an elderly woman who only has a state pension?
Who lobbies on this woman’s behalf? Her local MP is millionaire Richard Drax. He lives on his 7000 acre estate not too far from the old woman. Among other things he gets agricultural subsidies rather more than the limit on poor folk benefits.
Kevin Farnsworth, lecturer on social policy, has just produced what could be the first ever comprehensive audit of the British corporate welfare state, not the poor folk welfare state we’re used to reading and hearing about. He calculates that direct corporate welfare costs the benighted British taxpayer about £85 billion a year.
So the wealthy get more and the poor, even in their time of need like the elderly woman, get increasingly less. When will we reach a tipping point?
The editor of a local magazine has signed me up for a charity parachute drop next May assuming I’m fit enough. In the meantime i’ll be creating a charity for people like the old woman.
Quite hard writing this but keep on keeping on.