UK Food Banks Could Become Big Business

Donations Evenry little bit helps

There is growing concern that food banks could soon become a big business in the UK, just as they have become in the USA.

Food banks are created to provide support for families and individuals who are struggling with poverty. However, many people are now concerned that they maybe preventing the government from tackling poverty within the UK.

Tens of millions of people across the UK depend on food handouts for day to day support, and food banks have become established as part of the welfare landscape.

Nadine Daniel, the coordinator of the two Liverpool cathedrals’ Hope+ food bank, recently called the food banks intrinsically unfair, stating there is a fear that the relief could become self-perpetuating.

She recently said,

It could certainly be said we are removing the obligations of government to sort this out. As long as no-one is dying of hunger, there is a danger that continuing to run food banks abrogates the government’s responsibility to deal with food poverty

groceriessmallTo many, cities like Liverpool look as though they are thriving, as they have the growing shopping centre Liverpool One, a superb range of luxurious Liverpool hotels and a host of busy pubs, restaurants and bars. On the face of it, the city appears to be flourishing, but if you head into the city, the picture is very different for many families, as many are struggling to put food in their children’s mouths, warm their homes or pay their rent. This isn’t just happening in Liverpool, either; it is happening in cities up and down the UK, and the government are failing to offer their support as food banks are available to take their place.

Nadine Daniels continued: “Giving food is a sticking plaster. Food banks are not actually the answer. They are intrinsically unfair, and there is a huge stigma and stress attached to using them. They are big business in America. It’s become an industry in itself, employing large numbers of people via government grants. They’re not food banks any more, they’re like hypermarkets“.

There is a dependency issue. One couple at Hope+ recently said they had no money as they’d just been on holiday. We are prepared to say no. If more food banks did that, it would be useful. 

Many people are, seemingly, taking advantage of food banks, and view food banks more as a human right than a charitable service. Many UK food banks are attempting to resolve the growing financial problems of UK residents, as they plan to introduce debt advice as part of their service to limit the number of people visiting food banks.

More must be done to change food poverty. While food banks provide a temporary aid to financial problems, the government needs to take a look at the root of the problem and take action. Only then will we see an end to food poverty, and food banks will finally decline instead of growing in size.

read more

How Females Continue to Earn Less than Males

EqualPayforEqualWork (1)Is equality a reality or an ideology? We only ask because more than 40 years after the Equal Pay Act was outlawed, females are still earning less than their male equivalents.

Reports have emerged that female bosses earn approximately 35% less than their male colleagues. You would think after four decades that companies would realise that not only is this unfair, but it is illegal.

Data has emerged that female managers tend to hit “a midlife pay crisis”, meaning female managers over the age of 40 years old earn 35% less than men. The facts speak for themselves, as the average pay gap between men and womenJennifer_Lawrence_SDCC_2015_X-Men between the ages of 46 and 60 stands at a whopping £16,680 per year. In fact, male company directors earn around £21,084 more than their female counterparts – all that for doing exactly the same job!

A person’s anatomy should not determine how much they are paid – the same way race, sexuality or disability should not. Sexism is a very real problem in society, with women being undervalued and underpaid on a daily basis. Why should a female, who performs the same role as a man, be paid less for the same job, or have to with their finances or turn to a debt advice company whilst their male colleague sits comfortably on their income?

Actress Jennifer Lawrence recently took a stand about the gender was gap by writing a passionate essay on the subject. Following the Sony hack, the actress learnt she earned significantly less than her male actor in the movie American Hustle.

The actress wrote:

I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need.

Jennifer Lawrence went onto to write how she chose not to fight for her share as she feared she would be labelled “difficult” or “spoiled”, and also wrote:

I don’t think I’m the only woman with this issue. Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express opinions in a certain way that doesn’t ‘offend’ or ‘scare’ men?

It appears we have failed to move on much since the 1980s, with Helen Pitcher, the chair of the human resources consultancy Advanced Boardroom Excellence, recently commenting: “I am not surprised by the findings at all – and that is no criticism of the report at all. I wrote my thesis on women in management in the 1980s and very little has changed. The solution is all about transparency. Women often struggle with asking for a pay rise, whereas men don’t. I don’t think that most women would want to go as far [as taking legal action]. Very few women want to stick their heads above the parapet on this stuff”.

women_like_men_onl_3010598bPart of the problem may be that women are too scared to speak up over fear of losing their jobs, and very few equal pay cases are rarely taken to court. However, we cannot forget how 174, mainly female, employees claimed compensation over missed bonuses -which led to Birmingham city council paying approximately £1 billions to settle the claims.

In order for women to be treated as equals, more women need to speak up and push for equal pay. Whilst the prospect of standing up to employers can be a little daunting, female workers are entitled to the same pay as their male colleagues. However, it is not just the employees themselves that need to take action, companies and colleagues need to realise more needs to be done to challenge this shocking statistic, and that means fair pay for both genders. We are living in 2015, so it is about time we started acting like it.

read more

10 Self-Employed Tips to Save You Money

Running your own business comes with a lot of work and many forms to fill in – and all this can often result in you becoming a little bit out of pocket. To help you keep hold of your cash, we’re offering 10 self-employed tips to help save you money.


  1. Have a “No” Price

Do you have a minimum price when it comes to your services? It’s important you set a limit to how much you will accept from a client; otherwise, the work undertaken will not be worth the payment. Don’t settle for a low rate for the sake of a job – you could miss out on a more lucrative offer down the line.


  1. Claim Expenses

    If you work from home, you should consider deducting the personal or non-business costs. For example, if you have a home office and work in it for more than 25 hours per month, this is a necessary cost for your business.

  2. Take Out Insurance

As you will know, self-employed people are vulnerable to unemployment periods, and your work life will be affected if you become ill. One way to prevent a lack of income is to insure yourself and any other people you employ.

      1. Have a Personal Financial Plan

It is important to look after your finances so they look after you. It is therefore essential to make a personal financial plan, which will help maximise your tax and financial strategies. Create a target for what you want to achieve that month, year or within the next 5 years – and strive to reach it.

      1. Set a Daily Goal

save-moneyNot only should you create a personal finance plan, but you should set a daily goal for yourself. This could mean bagging another client by the end of the day, reaching a financial goal or finishing a job you’ve been aiming to complete. This will help your business go from strength-to-strength, and could result in further financial rewards.

      1. Donate to Charity

Did you know you can make great business savings by simply making a donation to charity? Inform your financial advisor or accountant of all your charitable donations within the last 12 months to a registered charity. You should also make a gift aid declaration when making the donation, and ensure you keep a copy on file. By doing so, you could receive up to 30% gross tax relief. Find out more.

      1. Keep a Clear Record

To avoid confusion, you should keep a clear record of all legitimate business expenses. An accurate record will ensure you’re not faced with a difficult tax enquiry, and so you won’t overpay on tax.

      1. Deduct Child Care Costs

Did you know you could deduct money for child care costs if you are self-employed? You can make a deduction for everything from nanny care, day care or babysitting, or another type of child care cost you have to pay for while you are working.

Group of employee people. Business team isolated on white background.

  1. Employ a Family Member

Many self-employed people are unaware they do not have to pay tax for an employed child who is under the age of 18 years old. You can employ a family member as long as they are 13 years old or over, but there are limits to their working hours and the jobs they can do.

  1. Start a Retirement Plan

You will no doubt be thinking about your current financial circumstances, or a few years down the line, but have you thought about your retirement? If not, it is time to. While the money might be rolling in now, you need to create a nest egg for when you decide to retire.

read more