The poor pay more in so many ways – because it give the rich an easy market to exploit

Laundrettes are part of the pay-as-you-go economy [Image: Alamy Stock Photo].

Barbara Ellen makes good points in her Guardian article about the reasons poor people are forced to pay more for the essentials of life – although I can’t entirely endorse the way she writes about it.

The simple fact is, people with less money have less influence, and can therefore be coerced into forking out more of their precious cash for the necessities.

This means poor people find it increasingly hard to hold on to their cash, making it impossible to get a foothold on the ladder to prosperity – ensuring that the rich who prosper from their poverty have a continuing market to exploit.

This poor-pay-more rule applies to many of the most basic aspects of life. Let’s run through just a few.

Homes: jobless/low-income claimants can’t dream of getting a mortgage, which can work out cheaper than renting, and means that you at least have an asset and some security. So they rent, often in the notoriously extortionate private sector, at a cost their benefits may not completely cover, so they have to make up the difference.

Heating water (for baths, showers, washing up) can mean finding money for greedy meters. And heating their homes is a luxury that many people decide they can’t afford.

New clothes (for job interviews) – forget it. And one of the little acknowledged side-effects of the “vintage” trend is that even charity shops can get pretty expensive these days. Nor do they tend to own washing machines and tumble dryers, so they use laundrettes, pay-as-you-go-style again.

Food may be from a food bank or the cheapest takeaway or microwaveable ready meal they can find. Even as the pious continue to drone on about how cheap and easy it is make a “nourishing soup for the whole week!”, anyone half sane has worked out something different.

Even if they could stand this insulting hipster-slop day after day – is it the trendy millennial answer to workhouse gruel? – it would require ingredients, a kitchen that extends beyond one conked-out, grease-encrusted ring on a hob, utensils and the money for the gas or electricity to cook it.

Travel: skint people tend to live in areas with crummy public transport, can’t afford to own or run cars, nor invest in the type of travelcards that bring prices down, so again it’s often PAYG, the most expensive way to get around.

Moreover, people don’t have their own computer or affordable, decent wifi, so again they have to travel for these facilities. Mobile phones, which most people would deem a necessity, also tend to be PAYG and credit would be quickly used up, especially, for instance, if people were to ring expensive benefits helplines that blow their entire food budget for a week.

Source: The warped logic of making the poor pay more | Barbara Ellen | Opinion | The Guardian

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2 thoughts on “The poor pay more in so many ways – because it give the rich an easy market to exploit

  1. Rusty

    Cheapest food shop I’ve do on is all plant based! Super healthy, even so the tories don’t want us living a long and healthy life so that’s one way I stick it to them!!!

  2. hugosmum70

    dont forget the fridge or freezerv (or fridge freezer) to keep the soup in for a week if it was made,and the electricity to keep it or them going. i for one would not be happy eating soup that was 4/5 days old that had been kept on the hob all that time , more so in hot weather. plus cost of heating it up.(even eating a week old soup that had been kept in the freezer would be asking for illness in my book. .. microwaveable meals …ok if you have a microwave. has that woman actually tasted those?)otherwise its pot noodles needing only a boilable kettle, gas ring. and fork or spoon.

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