Rich v Poor

Two rooms, in one the rich, high earners, in the other room the poor, those on benefits, low wages, zero hours. Both groups discussing the same topics.

What came across strongly was the the appalling degree of ignorance, bigotry and selfish attitudes of the rich. Do their thought processes come pre-formed from the pages of The Sun and the Daily Mail?

The poor feckless, if they worked harder they would not be poor, why did they not save, Iain Duncan Smith did not go far enough in cutting benefits.

The poor were far better informed, they complained of being stigmatised, especially by programmes like Benefit Street. What came across was desperation and fear, the fear of further changes and what these may bring. People living hand to mouth, no food, not knowing where money would be coming from to pay for food and rent, living off Oxo cubes and food banks. Unemployed being forced to waste their time and money chasing after jobs where they probably stand a better chance of winning the Lottery.

The rich think the poor do not know how to manage money. When you are poor, you spend all your time managing money, knowing where to go to pick-up-end-of-day bargains.

The rich, having paid for one house, were looking to buy a second house, to cash in on asset price rises.

Ironically the rich were saving more, cutting back on spending.

The poor wished to see more house building, but council houses, not houses for sale.

The rich thought Right to Buy a good idea. If you are struggling to pay the rent, how do you find the money to buy?

The poor wanted to see a rise in pay, a move to a Living Wage, rent controls, job security, tenancy security.

Neither group mentioned a Basic Income.

The rich thought tax credits a good idea, get people off benefits and into work.

Tax credits are not a good idea, all tax credits do is subsidise bad employers. Pay a decent wage, and workers do not need tax credits.

The top 20% of earners pay 35% of their earning in tax.

The bottom 20% of earners pay 37% of their earning in tax.

Is this fair?

The rich think they work hard.

Do the poor not work hard?

Head of Barclays in 1979 on £80,000 a year now £10 million. If workers pay increased by as much, would all be on £1 million a year.

Do not think workers work hard, then check out Maid In London, hotel rooms in London are some of the most expensive in the world, and yet hotel maids work long hours for bad pay.

Both groups thought training a good idea.

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