There is a 9 year gap in life expectancy between those living in the poorest and those living in the wealthiest wards in Bristol. Wealth inequality leads to health inequality and in one of the richest countries in the world this should be an outrage and be completely unacceptable to us all.
The demands upon essential public services are much higher in a society with higher levels of deprivation and this does effect everyone. Educational achievement is lower for poorer children and therefore by allowing the number of children living in poverty to rise we are producing a low-skill workforce of the future.
People desperately want to work but the jobs just aren't there. 31% and 19% is the difference between the working age population and available jobs in South Bristol. Welfare reform does not address this.
Children are growing up in work-less households, having to cope with life on the breadline and by allowing this to continue we are turning poor children into poor adults and recycling all the same issues and problems onto the next generation.
As the cost of living rises and incomes fall, especially amongst the poorest, what is needed to just get by and cover essential living costs becomes unattainable. This phenomenon is what has become commonly known as ‘food poverty’ as more and more people don't have enough to survive.
The lack of access to food is an indication that something else has gone seriously wrong and addressing these 'causes' is what the work of The Matthew Tree Project is all about.