ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A HOME
LOUIS WILLIAMS has only one thing on his Christmas list – a home.
The nine-year-old boy from Kent wrote a letter to Father Christmas, saying: “Please can I have a forever home. I don’t want any new toys.”
Louis and his family were made homeless when his mum couldn’t keep up rent payments. In his nine years, Louis has lived in 14 different places and just wants a home for good. “Everyone is sad living here and I just want us to be happy again,” Louis wrote to Santa.
Louis’ letter to Father Christmas comes in a week when a new report shows more people, like Louis, could end up living in poverty in Britain.
The UK Poverty 2017 report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) looks at rates of poverty over 20 years. It says that the UK had been making progress, but that poverty is on the rise again.
The high cost of renting or buying houses and low wages are among the issues being blamed. The JRF says that increasing employment is not reducing poverty any more, which is the opposite of what would be expected.
There have been calls for Prime Minister Theresa May to make changes to the universal credit scheme. Universal credit is a single monthly payment given to people who are out of work or who don’t earn much. For a couple with two children, aged five and fourteen, an income of less than £401 a week is described as poverty. A single parent with kids the same age would be in poverty if they got less than £297 a week.
The JRF report says that “this squeeze on living standards is also storing up problems for the future,” as people living in poverty can’t buy a house or save money, so their financial problems will increase as they get older.