Mum-of-four starved for a week so her children had food

This is yet another example of Tory breadline Britain.

‘Karen’ – not her real name – is a single mother-of-four, two of whom have autistic spectrum disorder – one more severely than the other.

She told the Liverpool Echo how she fell into a spiral of debt and depression because her income was not enough to cover the needs of her family.

According to the report, she:

  • Went without food for a week, to ensure that what little food she had went to her children
  • Was threatened with eviction as she struggled with rent and household bills
  • Told a social worker her cupboards were bare because she was waiting for a supermarket home delivery – as she couldn’t face admitting the truth
  • Made food a low priority because she was more concerned about keeping a roof over her children’s heads
  • Still struggles during the holiday periods – including Christmas – as she needs to buy more food than normal to feed her family throughout the day

And the holiday period is worse for her, because she feels peer pressure regarding Christmas presents and does not want her children to be bullied as a result of her poverty.

Perhaps some Tory minister or MP would care to explain to ‘Karen’ what she could have done to avoid this situation?

Let’s not have any pointless platitudes suggesting she should have been wiser in choosing her partner “and then you might not be in this situation”. We all know that some people don’t have the backbone to do the right thing, but we never know who they are until they do a runner.

Seriously, how was this woman supposed to make ends meet, when all the options available to her involve starvation?

Why should she have to rely on a food bank to avoid it?

What about the so-called ‘Victorian’ diseases associated with malnourishment? Should she just wait until they take hold on her family and then book herself into an already-overstretched NHS hospital, making matters worse for the public health system?

This is how Conservative policies affect real people. Now watch your Tory MPs stick their heads in the sand, rather than hear the facts about their activities.

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13 thoughts on “Mum-of-four starved for a week so her children had food

  1. NMac

    I am just waiting for some thoroughly unpleasant and loathsome Tory to suggest that Workhouses” are the answer.

  2. Jim Round

    Some of the comments under The Echo story are from nice people aren’t they?
    Seriously though, there is a lot wrong here, is there a claim for DLA for the kids with autism?
    A quick check on entitled to shows £330 per week, then add child benefit and CTS and rent help. Are the Chances next to useless again?
    Is she on the cheapest energy tariff?
    Same with other utilities, you can say these should be cheaper for all but unfortunately that’s not the country we live in.
    I am still working with families like “Karen’s” and it shows just how bad our education system is that we have next to no financial and budgeting education so families and individuals know how to manage money and get the best deal.
    The number of people who simply do not have a clue is disheartening.
    It is also the reason benefits are under claimed (something you hear little about in the MSM)

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I’m sure you can find many excuses to blame ‘Karen’ for her situation, and some of them might actually stick.
      The most telling part of your comment is the part about “the number of people who simply do not have a clue”. Of course they either aren’t told what they can do or fall into the kind of mental state that prevents them from following it up.
      It isn’t right to blame people who get into this situation. I mean, are we being asked to assume they get into this situation on purpose?
      As for benefits being under-claimed, there’s a news story about that today (December 10). As I understand it, the report completely misinterprets the situation…

      1. Jim Round

        I certainly do not blame “Karen” I blame a poor, unorganised welfare rights and social work departments.
        Anyone who has volunteered or worked with their local CAB will see many “Karen’s”
        My question is, what has the social worker mentioned done about the points I brought up.
        It is something I do straight away when assigned.

    2. John

      You know Jim, it’s not the first time I’ve heard the one about benefits being underclaimed, in fact, it’s been like that for some years.
      I have two theories on that one:
      1) People quite often don’t know that they CAN claim in the first place
      2) Those that DO, some of them simply don’t bother perhaps? Why? Could it be (and I’ve suggested it before), that the Govt of the day make it so difficult for you to claim those benefits (i.e. hoops to jump through), that it puts a lot of people off. It wouldn’t surprise me at all!

  3. Chris Leicester

    Where are the father(s) of these four children? He (They) should be made to help. As a parent it is your responsibility to be able to support your children otherwise don’t have children. No one can expect the taxpayer to pay you to have kids. Think wisely make sure you can with and without a partner afford to have children and be prepared to go out and get a job like most people do to make ends meet. Most working people only have a couple of children as they know that is all that they can afford to bring up!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Feel the ignorance, folks.
      Have you ever been through the system and tried to get money from parents who have done a runner? It’s not as easy as you want to believe!
      As for people thinking carefully before having children – how do you know this person didn’t? When you’re in a relationship, it can seem very secure. There’s no way of knowing the other person will walk out until they do.
      That’s why it happens as often as it does.
      Your comment is victim blaming.

      1. joanna

        I agree Mike but also what if the father is dead? I have heard that if a father is found and he is also on benefits, then how can he possibly pay for his children? Even if he has to pay £5 per week, what good is that going to do for 4 children?
        Too many people seem more comfortable,criticizing this poor woman, than wanting to help her, is compassion truly dying now?

    2. John

      “As a parent it is your responsibility to be able to support your children otherwise don’t have children.”
      Whilst to a certain degree, I do agree with that statement, I also think (generally speaking), that anyone who comes out with stuff like that (or similar), should be given a firm punch in the gob!
      You’re not a Sun reader are you?
      I see comments like yours all the time, on online newspapers, and just think that there’s an awful lot of stupid and ignorant people about (possibly Tories).

      1. John

        That statement IS true and sensible (BEFORE you actually have children, AND when you KNOW whether or not you currently CAN afford them!)(If that makes sense lol)
        Outside of those circumstances, it’s an extremely stupid and ridiculous and narrow-minded thing to say!
        Given that Chris doesn’t know (and neither do we), the exact history of ‘Karen’, he seems to be on a parent blame game and jumps to an awful lot of conclusions that he can’t possibly justify, and comes out with the kind of statements that I’ve seen plenty of on places like Sun articles (when I’ve seen online ones that is).
        I could rip Chris’s statements apart much further than that, but can’t be bothered (I’ll leave him to bath in his complete and utter ignorance and narrow-mindedness)

  4. Jill Jervis

    And how can she work btw with two autistic children? Looking after them is a full time job & I’m sure when she was pregnant that she didn’t order for them to be born that way for you Tories.

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