This year I and others are painting our red noses black and intend to boycott the television shows we'd like you to join us, and I'm sure you'd like to know why? We are not against Comic Relief or the good work it does and encourage you to buy a red nose if you can afford it. But this year Comic Relief saw fit to include clips of David Cameron in the music video to One directions charity song. We feel including the Prime minister in this video is a slap in the face to the millions of people he has plunged into poverty in this country with his misguided austerity measures.
There are currently 3.6 million children in the UK living in poverty according to barnardos 58% of them are in a family where someone works.
Yet the Coalition have pushed through measures to ensure benefits even those for disabled people and people in work, like tax credits only go up by 1%. Further punishing children who will be forced further into poverty as their parents incomes are reduced even more compared to inflation.
These cuts risk putting the UK in breach of the UN Economic and social rights convention we are signed up to. Food poverty has risen so sharply that there has been a massive rise in emergency food banks already.
The cuts to housing benefit for many people living in social housing deemed to be over occupying their properties dubbed “The Bedroom Tax” Will see people expected to move to a smaller property or pay a charge for their extra room, even though there is a huge shortage of suitable smaller properties for them to move to. This will further increase the poverty people are suffering in the UK as they are forced to make up shortfalls in their rent or face eviction and homelessness.
The coalition also rolled out across the country a new and untested Work Capability Assessment when they came into power in 2010. Between January and November 2011 10,600 disabled people who clearly wrongly had their benefits stopped died within 6 weeks of losing benefit. (a sharp rise in the statistics compared to the year before).
Yet despite all these alarming statistics David Cameron's ministers continue to claim these cuts are fair and needed. Though they have made no cuts to their own wages, continue to claim massive expenses, and have not sufficiently cracked down on tax evasion by large multinational companies. But apparently we are “all in this together”.
We presented all this information to comic relief and they have ignored our requests to remove David Cameron from the video, and have even promoted pictures of David Cameron's wife Samantha baking in her tax payer funded kitchen at Number 10 with her children. Making cakes she will apparently sell to downing street staff to raise money for the event. Well it's alright for some isn't it?
Join us by liking the facebook page where there is a list of actions you can take and by tweeting your disgust at this flawed decision by comic relief using the hashtag #blacknoseday.