Church Action on Poverty has launched a shocking new report which exposes the huge harm done by politicians and the media to poor and vulnerable people.
'The blame game must stop' offers a Christian response to the growing stigmatisation of people who are in poverty.
The report features powerful stories, gathered from people on
benefits or low wages as part of the recent Greater Manchester Poverty
People said things like: "I don’t feel like a person any more" ...
"The poor are not listened to", "I feel as if my life is public
property", "At the benefits office, they talk to you like you are a
piece of dirt."
The latter prejudice will be exposed on a Panorama BBC1 television
documentary tonight, which looks at disabled people and benefits.
The new Church Action on Poverty contains some powerful new
statistics, gathered by the Free Churches' Joint Public Issues Team,
which explode some of the myths used to demonise people experiencing
The report makes clear recommendations for how everybody - including
politicians, journalists and the public - can end this harming blame
game, and stop scapegoating the most vulnerable people in our society.
Niall Cooper, National Coordinator of Church Action on Poverty, said:
“It is appalling that the UK’s economic crisis and rising levels of
poverty are being blamed on those who are actually feeling their worst
"Politicians and the media use abusive language and images, and fuel
mistrust by contrasting supposed ‘strivers’ with ‘skivers’. They use
this blame game to justify cuts to our safety net, which will drive
hundreds of thousands of people further into poverty. Christians are called to act when anyone is marginalised or
excluded. We urge all Christians to speak out now against this blame
The report is free to download at www.church-poverty.org.uk/stigma. The web page also includes a simple online action which can be used to send a message about stigma to local newspapers.
It is being launched to coincide with the national Poverty & Homelessness Action Week (www.actionweek.org.uk), which is on the theme 'Can you cast the first stone?' in 2013.
Church Action on Poverty is a national ecumenical Christian social
justice charity, committed to tackling poverty in the UK. We work in
partnership with churches and with people in poverty themselves to find
solutions to poverty, locally, nationally and globally.
CAP campaigns in partnership with churches across the UK to 'Close
the Gap' between rich and poor, calling for Fair Taxes, fair Pay, Fair
Prices and a Fair Say. (See www.church-poverty.org.uk/closethegap)
* Download the full report at www.church-poverty.org.uk/stigma/report/blamegamereport