Frank Field MP
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This week in Unequal Britain


Who would have thought that Unequal Britain could be embodied in one single building? It soon will be.

A new block of flats being built in London will have two separate entrances – one for ordinary people and another for the mega-rich. Residents living in the block’s affordable flats will even be required to use a separate lift to those with ‘premier’ flats. That separate lift will also grant the ‘premier’ residents access to a private swimming pool, bars and a Jacuzzi.  

In the meantime – the development will be finished by 2020 – there are, sadly, plenty of other symptoms of Unequal Britain.

At the top of Unequal Britain:

Princess Eugenie recently posed for an upmarket fashion magazine in two different dresses – one which cost $5,000, and the other $9,000. The price of the jewellery she was wearing however, is anybody’s guess. Its price is only available ‘upon request’.

Should anyone require luggage to transport such items, a national newspaper was recommending to its readers a calfskin bag for just shy of £4,000.

Those three items alone – two dresses and one bag – would wipe out millions of people’s entire annual earnings.

At the bottom of Unequal Britain:

A constituent of mine with a two-year-old child was left on the breadline for two months following a cock-up with the wretched Universal Credit system. My constituent, who is also six months pregnant, has had to skip meals to try and pay the bills. 

Likewise, another constituent of mine, who has four young children, was taken into hospital with lung and chest problems while she waited to receive her first Universal Credit payment. Her health problems were attributed to successive weeks without heating her home or eating properly, as she was living on £1.50 a day.

A third constituent of mine lost their home having been made to wait almost a year for a medical assessment for Employment and Support Allowance – their papers were lost by officials when they first made an application.

Elsewhere, a 56-year-old man in Oxfordshire needed to rely on three food parcels while he waited to receive his first Universal Credit payment. His rent arrears increased by £529 over the same period. 

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