Search

Gerry Haines, of Elm Park, on living off £1 a day to raise awareness of poverty

15:35 16 April 2013

Gerry Haines will be living off £1 a day for five days

Gerry Haines will be living off £1 a day for five days

Archant

Forget Iain Duncan-Smith and his £53 a week – Elm Park man Gerry Haines is setting out to raise awareness of UK poverty by living off just £1 a day.

The Cowdray Way resident is taking on the challenge as part of a national project called Living Below the Line.

Gerry – who volunteers with the Global Poverty Project, as well as working with the Trinity United Reformed Church in Upminster’s Church Action on Poverty group – said he’d been spurred into action by what he perceived as a growing divide between the “haves” and the “have-nots”.

“There are 13 million people in Britain living on or below the bread line,” he said. “Most people are struggling to make ends meet but a minority of people have actually seen their incomes increase in real terms over the last 30 years.

“We call for fair taxes, fair prices, fairer pay and a fairer say for working people - in short, we want to close the income gap between the highest paid people in society and the rest of us. Currently, the country’s top earners get more than 130 times the average earner’s salary.

“Those at the top should share the money more fairly. If workers at the bottom earned a bigger percentage of the wealth they helped create, there would be less demand on social services.”

For Gerry, who knows what it’s like to grow up without a lot of money, it’s a personal campaign too.

“I was a ‘latchkey kid’,” he told the Recorder.

“A lot of kids in my class had a front door key on a bit of string round our necks. You would let yourself in after school and make yourself a cup of tea because Mum wouldn’t be back from work until later in the evening.

“There was no telly. My family lived in two rooms and shared a bathroom with three or four other families.

“The way government policies are going, that’s coming back.

“However much they say we’re all in this together, they aren’t going to feel the pinch in the way that an OAP or a child or a single mum is. The poor aren’t poor because they’re lazy. Most poor people in this country are working and struggling just to get by.”

You can sponsor Gerry’s challenge by visiting https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/gerrymandering.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:18
NHS unions have called off industrial action

NHS trade unions have suspended industrial action due to take place across London on Thursday.

Yesterday, 17:42
The man at the front is seen running away with the bag belonging to the man in blue

A have-a-go hero who witnessed a shocking daytime robbery in Hornchurch town centre drove after the culprits and retrieved the victim’s stolen bag.

Yesterday, 13:35
Wanted in connection with fraud, Rui Miguel Mendes de Brito, also known as Adewale Rui Adeniji

Police are searching for a man who they would like to speak to in connection with a fraud that occurred almost four years ago.

Yesterday, 13:26
Davy Priestly

A photography graduate has gone global after his transgender-based work was featured in a Miami exhibition.

Most read news

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder

Fans of cool pictures of fire – this one’s for you.

Have you noticed lots of ladies with smudged lippie on social media lately? Find out why they’re deliberately committing a make-up faux pas.

Emergency declared as blizzard is expected to dump up to 24 inches of snow.

With 100 days to go until the General Election we decided to give it a try.