We are RealFare – a project that aims to de-myth and change the way we view welfare.
It is a tumultuous time for Britain. A struggling economy leads the onslaught of mass rising unemployment, resulting in harsh cuts and welfare reforms that are affecting the lives of millions; pushing thousands of families and children into poverty. Benefits are being cut from the disabled through controversial means testing. Money for pensions is strained because of ill-preparation for our ageing population and we are barely seeing improvements in our economic recovery.
All the while, media and news seems to be dividing us. In times of difficulty, it is natural to want something or someone to blame. Much of news and media have become expert at selling, at sensationalism, at providing a one-sided story with heroes and villains, to provoke your disgust, distaste and distrust of others.
We want something different.
RealFare aims to provide something more honest. We will be taking a closer look at our welfare system, using interviews and stories from those affected by the reforms, and insight from experts and commentators, in the hope that we can provide a better, clearer picture of what is happening to our welfare system.
Week-by-week, we’ll be talking about housing, the rights of the disabled and the elderly, legal aid, new regulations, reforms and anything else to do with welfare. First up, employment. “Get your partner to quit her job,” was the advice Job Centre Plus gave Leeds-based student Antonia Lines. Look out for her story on Friday. Prepare to be frustrated.
We also want to show you how the media treats these issues, and how at times, this can distort our idea of what is going on. And believe that a more honest look at our welfare system could make us feel differently about each other, the media and our government.
Let’s get everyone talking about welfare. If you think a post is intelligent, interesting or important, go on – give us a retweet and share it on Facebook.
Do you have a story or a viewpoint on employment, disability rights or any aspect of welfare? Is there something you’d like us to investigate? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Join in the debate by emailing us at email@example.com.
Kam Sandhu – RealFare