Letter: Daily dilemmas for the poor

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Sir: I was saddened to see Simon Brooke's letter (5 June) and to read his arrogant and scathing remarks about people faced with poverty and living on means tested benefits.

Indeed people in poverty do have to make daily choices about what to spend their money on - do they feed their children or pay the electricity bill? Do they keep their children away from school because they can't afford to buy them shoes?

Many families struggle to survive on as little as pounds 3 per person per day for housekeeping - I wonder what Mr Brooke paid for his lunch today?

A single person on Income Support has less than pounds 7.50 a day to pay for food, electricity, gas, water rates, clothes, toiletries and travelling.

In Cornwall there is extremely limited public transport and claimants have often no alternative but to hitch to their nearest benefit agency - no mean feat if one has young children.

Perhaps Mr Brooke would gain much from spending time with those who work with poor people so that he could better understand the issues that the Joseph Rowntree Foundation so properly reported on.



Liskeard Citizens Advice Bureau