WHAT I'M DOING:
the plan is to cover 423 miles on foot, before the end of September. Why 423 miles? Because that is the distance (according to Google Maps) from my house to 11, Downing Street, London - home of The Chancellor of The Exchequer.
I'd like a wee word in his shell-like.
(I'll be recording my daily mileage, via my Fitbit and Strava devices, so treadmill runs, indoor bike rides, dog walks, tennis etc will all count. I'll log details with #ExcludedUK each evening. I'll probably also have wee updates on my Facebook page, as is my wont!)
WHY I'M DOING IT:
like around 3 million others, I am one of the ExcludedUK. When the dreadful Covid-19 virus struck, we were all given the promise by Rishi Sunak, that 'no-one would be left behind.' Well, that, it turns out, was a bit of a porky.
And while Mr Sunak is very good at highlighting what he HAS done to help people throughout the lockdown, he flat declines to discuss the plight of the ExcludedUK - this group of 3 million taxpayers for whom he took the 'policy decision' to exclude from the same support offered to 9.4 million others.
In an earlier statement issued by the Treasury, when asked about the #ExcludedUK and why they had not been given the same support it declared the Government had a duty to ensure that 'public money was spent responsibly,' and went to the right people at the right time. That was all.
This would indicate it was considered irresponsible to assist the Group in a similar manner.
I have been excluded because I have a small pension, which just happens to be slightly higher than I earn from my own business. There are many, many reasons as to why others have been excluded, but the point to note is that we all pay the same amount of tax as others earning what we do. The only difference is our tax payments come from different sources.
We do not seek anything other than parity. To be treated the same as others. Simple. That's all.
this fundraiser is not about me. Sure, I went 4 months with no income and so my hard earned savings have taken a nose-dive - and I don't see why it should be that way when others were freely given grant aid and furlough monies. But I'm back working now, though at a lesser level, and I will manage through this .
I am lucky.
So, so many within the #ExcludedUK group have no fall-back. Some had, but those sources have now been exhausted. Some are still prohibited from working - especially so those in music and creative industries.
The posts I read every day on the #ExcludedUK Facebook page are truly heartbreaking. So many have already lost not only their savings, but their business, their house and mental health. It's truly reprehensible what has been perpetrated by the Government at this time.
#ExcludedUK group is a not-for-profit, non-political organisation set up to help those affected by this discriminatory action. Nobody is saying X, Y or Z Party could / would have done better. All we can do is address the situation we are faced with.
we have set ourselves the target of walking, running, swimming, rolling, etc, 3 Million Miles by the end of summer -- that's one mile for every member.
Any funds raised through sponsorship and donations will be used to help those most in need with counselling and debt management sessions. The Group will assist where possible, to address the mental health of those suffering as a consequence of this injustice.
SPONSORSHIP / DONATIONS:
I have never sought donations via sponsorship etc since I was in the Boy Scouts. I am always reluctant to ask friends and relatives to dig into their pockets, but I would feel like I'd be letting down those in #ExcludedUK if I failed to do so this time.
Anything that you can give would be massively appreciated, not just by me, but by thousands / millions of others, many of whom right now need their faith in human nature restored.
Maybe if you're in the position to take advantage of the EAT OUT TO HELP OUT initiative, you could, like buy me a virtual beer with your savings and chip in to the pot?
(Any money raised through my Crowdfunder page will feed directly into the parent ExcludedUK page.)
thanks for reading this through to the end. I don't normally carry anything 'serious' on my social media pages, so I hope you'll excuse this one. AND look, I understand if you can't / don't believe in contributing. That's absolutely fine.
Of equal importance is that we keep #EXCLUDEDUK to the forefront of social media comment until Parliament returns after summer recess. We have over 250 cross party MPs in a group (the largest Parliament has seen apparently) who are seeking answers on our behalf. So please, drop us into conversation; join our Group even if not directly affected, your support would be welcomed.; sign up to this campaign if you feel so inclined; use our hashtags: #ExcludedUK #wearenotgoingaway.
We will be waiting for Mr Sunak to return from holiday and unplugging his fingers from his ears. He has some explaining to do.
time to stretch these hamstrings ....