Marcus Rashford has urged the government to abandon its plan to cut the £20 universal credit uplift and instead tackle the ongoing ‘child hunger pandemic’.
The Manchester United and England footballer, who last year lead the fight to a historic government U-turn for free school meals for children across the UK, has stressed that millions of people will ‘lose a lifeline’ when the extra money is scrapped next month.
He said, as per The Guardian: “Instead of removing vital support, we should be focusing on developing a long-term roadmap out of this child hunger pandemic.
“On October 6th, millions lose a lifeline. It’s a move that Child Poverty Action Group says will raise child poverty to one in three.”
The twenty-three year old footballer has also urged the government provide long-term funding for food and activities during school holidays and expand the Healthy Start voucher scheme to households earning £20,000 or less after benefits.
Executive director of the Food Foundation Anna Taylor, who is working alongside Rashford, said food insecurity was ‘surging and is set to get a lot worse’.
She said: “It takes its toll not just on the wellbeing of children, but also on wider society. Getting ahead of this crisis is the litmus test of the government’s ambition to level up.
“Stopping the cut to universal credit and extending free school meals to poor children who currently miss out would provide a minimum protection for at-risk children. It is baffling that currently the government is planning neither. That’s why it is so important that everyone gets their voices heard and asks their MP to support this in the forthcoming spending review.”
The £20 universal credit rise, which was introduced during the pandemic last year and impacted over 5.8 million universal credit claimers, is set to be axed next week on October 6th.
The government’s argument is that as the economy opens back up, the focus needs to shift to getting people back to work.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told BBC Breakfast that the government had spent a ‘huge’ amount of money during the pandemic to provide ‘massive support’ to the economy and workers, but that ‘there was a debate about how long we could afford this’.
He said he was speaking ‘a great deal about it’ to the chancellor and other ministers as part of his focus on tackling fuel poverty.
Get paid £24K to watch Netflix and nap in bed all day as part of dream job
We all know someone who’d be perfect for this…
A company is on the lookout for a professional Netflix binger and napper to apply for their new vacancy, which offers a handsome salary of £24K per annum.
In what could be the dream job for most of us, bespoke luxury bed company Crafted Beds are now taking applications for an official Mattress Tester to join the team.
The job role has been designed to ensure that customers are getting the absolute best quality mattresses for ultimate comfort, so will pay the successful applicant to try out a range of mattresses by, well, sleeping and napping on them.
The job is contracted to 37.5 hours per week and is completely remote, meaning the successful applicant will be able to do their work from the comfort of their own home (or bed).
The job’s official description reads: “You’ll be working core hours, 37.5 hours a week, watching Netflix and napping on a Crafted Beds mattress to assess its comfortability score. You’ll extensively review the mattress and let us know whether you believe the quality is high enough to distribute to our customers.”
Brian Dillon, Marketing Manager at Crafted Beds, said: “We’re extremely excited to launch this role as customer satisfaction means the utmost to us.
“Whilst we have glowing reviews from our existing shoppers, we want to ensure that this continues, and hiring a mattress tester is a part of this strategy. This role will be an integral part of the Crafted Beds team.”
Applicants must be aged eighteen or older, UK based, able to test the mattress alone without disruption, and have strong written communication skills to fill out the review form.
Is this the dream job for you? If so, you can apply here.
Mysterious abandoned tea-for-two found in Lake District woodland
‘The ultimate romantic gesture, trash a national park and world heritage sight, to show your partner how much you love them’
A photographer has slammed the litterers who left behind the remains of a full tea-for-two set up – complete with table, chairs and glassware – in a Lake District woodland.
Ashley Cooper, a climate change photographer from Ambleside, was walking in the woods to the north of the tarn when he came across a table and two chairs with the remains of what looked like a boozy afternoon tea party.
As seen in the photographs taken by Ashley, half-eaten food remained on the plates and the dregs of champagne lingered in the glassware.
Ashley shared his discovery onto Facebook, writing that after a ‘year of invasion by numpties’ in the Lake District, he truly thought he’d seen it all.
He wrote: “In the woodland above Blea Tarn, I came across the remains of a romantic meal for two. Still champagne in the glasses and chocolate cake on the plates.
“The ultimate romantic gesture, trash a national park and world heritage sight, to show your partner how much you love them. Is this the new normal!!!”
Ashley later spoke to the BBC about the incident, noting how the culprits must have gone through ‘a lot of trouble’ to get the table and chairs into the woodland.
He said: “They’ve gone to a lot of trouble to carry the gear down there as it’s about half a mile from the nearest road – but it just looks like they finished their meal and got up and just left it all.”
Staff at the nearest hotels – all several miles away – have since said the set-up was nothing to do with them.
However, this isn’t the first time Ashley has come across litter being left behind in the Lake District – he said that since the pandemic, locals have been dealing with a rise in visitors leaving behind their rubbish in outdoor spaces, saying he himself has seen a number of tents, along with sleeping bags and cooking equipment, abandoned during the past eighteen months.
He said: “We’re seeing a very different type of visitor to the Lake District who has no respect for the place whatsoever. These people aren’t short of money but they are short of a conscience and social responsibility.”
Manchester has been named the most photogenic city in the UK
Are we really surprised though?
Instagrammers, rejoice: Manchester has officially been crowned the most photogenic city in the whole of the U.K.
Made-to-order diamond jewellers Austen & Blake recently launched a campaign to find where in the U.K is the best spot to get married. So, as a part of their extensive research, the jewellers looked at seven individual criteria to determine the result, including the visual appeal of each location.
And, low and behold, Manchester came out on top for its visual appeal, making it officially the most photogenic city in the country.
Manchester is the most geo-tagged city on Instagram, with approximately 7.1 million tags, far more than other cities such as London and Birmingham, each of which has just 3.7 million tags and 4.2 million tags.
And that wasn’t Manchester’s only succession in the survey; our city was also crowned as the second best city in the U.K. to get married in, falling just behind the capital, London.
Austen & Blakes spokesperson Anthony French said on the findings: “Choosing the location of your wedding can often be one of the most difficult decisions as there are so many other factors that come into play. That is why we worked with a set of seven criteria that we deemed some of the most important factors when choosing a wedding location.
“For many, capturing beautiful images that can be looked back on for years to come is one of the most important aspects of the big day, so it was interesting to find that Manchester was considered the most photogenic city in the U.K, especially above London!”
This comes just one month on from Manchester being crowned as the third best city in the whole world – back in March, Time Out launched its post-pandemic ‘Time Out Index’ survey, which quizzed 27,000 city-dwellers on the details surrounding their lives.
The magazine wanted to find out which cities had ‘really stepped up and pulled together’ during a year of worldwide pandemic – so it wasn’t just questions about food and culture, but also community projects, green space and sustainability.
So of course our city ranked in the third place – the magazine praised Mancunians for our ‘resilience’ and for having thrived throughout the pandemic, with communities coming together through the toughest of times.
You can see Austen & Blake’s full campaign here.