27 December 2020
Fighting Poverty and Inequality in Bolton and Beyond
Ten years of disastrous austerity policies, plus the effects of Coronavirus, have left many of
our fellow citizens facing severe hardship. A shocking situation in one of the world’s richest
countries. How do we go about rectifying it?
On 26 November, Bolton Green Party organized an online presentation and discussion,
featuring Natalie Bennett (former Green Party leader, now representing the party in the
House of Lords) and Margaret Simpson from the Bolton Destitution Project.
Margaret began by outlining the work the Destitution Project does in helping asylum seekers and refugees, many of whom have no recourse to public funds, or minimal levels of welfare support (far below the cost of living). She illustrated her account with some gripping personal stories and left us in no doubt about the seriousness of the plight of these people who have been driven into exile by war, repression and climate change.
Then Natalie took over and discussed the Green Party’s approach to the problem, including proposals for a Universal Basic Income to ensure that everyone has at least a minimum subsistence income. This would also dispense with the present complex, unfair and punitive benefit system. We followed this up with a question and answer session.
This was an informative and inspiring meeting, and we are grateful to the two speakers who gave their services free of charge. Donations received from attendees were divided between Bolton Green Party and the Destitution Project.
Look out for more of these events in 2021 – online and (hopefully, soon) face-to-face. We’ll put full details on the website and Facebook.