Tag Archives: Poverty

Walmart and McDonald’s are among the top companies receiving Medicaid and food stamps | Instant News

The car passes a Walmart store in Washington, DC, on August 18, 2020.

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Walmart and McDonald’s is one of the top employers to benefit from federal aid programs such as Medicaid and food stamps, according to a learn by a non-partisan Government Accountability Office.

The question of how much taxpayers contribute to maintaining a basic standard of living for employees at some of the nation’s largest low-wage companies has long been a flashpoint in debates over minimum wage legislation and ongoing efforts to unify these sectors.

Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Commissioned the study, which was released Wednesday by the congressional oversight body. The Washington Post is the first to report the data. Sanders, who is running for the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, is a leading progressive lawmaker and a consistent critic of companies.

GAO analyzed February data from the Medicaid agency in six states and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – known as SNAP, or food stamps – agencies in nine states.

Walmart is the top company registering Medicaid in the three states and one of the top four companies in the remaining three states. The retailer is the top employer of SNAP recipients in the five states and one of the top four employers in the remaining four states.

McDonald’s is among the top five employers of Medicaid registrants in five of the six states and SNAP recipients in eight of the nine states.

Other well-known companies with large numbers of employees on federal aid include Amazon, Kroger, Dollar General, and other retail and food service giants.

About 70% of the 21 million federal aid recipients are employed full-time, the report found.

“US taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize some of America’s largest and most profitable companies,” Sanders said in a statement late Wednesday. “It’s time for the owners of Walmart, McDonald’s, and other large corporations to get out of the way and pay their workers a living wage.”

Walmart recently reported $ 5.14 billion in net income for its final quarter, while McDonald’s reported $ 1.76 billion in net income for the same period.

McDonald’s USA said in a statement that the company believed data from the report was taken out of context and framed in a misleading way, arguing that McDonald’s and Walmart were some of the largest companies in the country.

“The average starting wage at a US company-owned restaurant is more than $ 10 per hour and exceeds the federal minimum wage. McDonald’s believes elected leaders have a responsibility to set, debate and change mandated minimum wages and do not lobby or participate in any activity that is mandated. against raising the minimum, “the company said in a statement.

McDonald’s announced that last March it will no longer lobby for minimum wage increases. CEO Chris Kempczinski told CNBC that November companies will be open to discussing minimum wages when he asked Congress to pass another one Covid-19 stimulus package.

“If it weren’t for the job access that Walmart and other companies provide, more people would rely on government assistance,” Walmart spokeswoman Anne Hatfield said in a statement. “We support efforts to raise the minimum wage while we continue to invest in our partners.”

The GAO report came later Florida chooses to increase its minimum wage over the next six years up to $ 15 per hour. It is the eighth state to agree a minimum wage of $ 15 per hour and the second most populous state to do so.

President-elect Joe Biden supports a $ 15 federal minimum wage. The federal minimum rate has remained at $ 7.25 an hour for more than a decade.

Earlier this year, Costco, Amazon and Target raise their minimum wages to $ 15 per hour. On Wednesday, Starbucks announced it would raise salaries for his barista.

The sun sets over a McDonald’s store on October 21, 2019 in Edgewater, New Jersey.

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In the past, companies like McDonalds and Walmart have responded to pressure on lawmakers to pass mandatory minimum wage laws with advertising campaigns touting their jobs as entry-level, and therefore never intended to provide their only source of income. for a family.

McDonald’s launched a memorable marketing campaign in 2016 that billed itself as America’s “best first job” and advised that teens and young adults make up the bulk of its workforce.

But many proponents of the mandatory minimum wage see McDonald’s advertisements as an attempt to ignore the reality that millions of McDonald’s workers struggle to support families on the salaries the company pays.

– CNBC’s Christina Wilkie contributed reporting.


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The New Zealand government has rejected calls to increase welfare payments | Instant News

In the first month since New Zealand’s October 17 election, the reformed Labor-Green government has shown its pro-business color, as it implements corporate elite demands for deeper austerity measures against the working class.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern last week flatly rejected requests from 59 organizations, including trade unions, charities and poverty action groups, to raise welfare payments before Christmas to tackle mass unemployment and impoverishment.

Through the Aotearoa ActionStation umbrella group [New Zealand], the group published an open letter saying the situation was “urgent.” Families are “pushed into poverty” by job loss under COVID-19, coupled with long-term stagnant salaries and high housing costs. The low level of welfare benefits means that “today, hundreds of thousands of children are limited by poverty, despite the best efforts of parents.”

Jacinda Ardern (AP Photo)

The letter did not come from opponents of the coalition government but from allies who have campaigned for its re-election – and donated tens of thousands of dollars to Labor, in the case of trade unions – on the false premise that a “progressive” government would be open to pressure from the “left”. In the most amiable terms, the letter pleads for action to “help achieve your vision of making Aotearoa the best place to be a child.”

Ardern responded by ruling out increasing the core benefits. At a post-cabinet press conference on November 9, he stated: “It will not be a problem that is resolved in one week or one month or even one term.” Ardern had promised during the 2017 election campaign that he would lead a “transformative” government dedicated to eliminating child poverty and the housing affordability crisis.

The government’s Welfare Advisory Group in 2019 recommended an additional $ 5.2 billion a year for social welfare, with an immediate increase in main benefits ranging from 17 to 47 percent, and indexing benefits to average wages. The government supports indexation and increases benefits by just $ 25 a week, but rules out further increases as “not fiscally sustainable.”

Labor and Greens, now without NZ First as government partners, were reinstated after Labor won a majority of seats, including many in wealthy areas previously held by the conservative National Party. After two weeks of coalition negotiations, a deal with the Greens was secured to put a false “progressive” face onto the government’s agenda.


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The UN Food Agency Nobel warned 2021 would be worse than 2020 | Instant News

UNITED NATIONS – The head of the World Food Program said the Nobel Peace Prize has cast the spotlight and a megaphone for the UN body to warn world leaders that next year will be worse than this year, and without billions of dollars “we will go hungry in proportion the biblical one in 2021. “

David Beasley said in an interview with The Associated Press that the Norwegian Nobel Committee observes the work the agency does every day in conflicts, disasters and refugee camps, often putting staff lives at risk to feed millions of starving people – but also to send “a message to the world. that it’s getting worse out there … (and) that our hard work is still to come. “

“So this is truly a gift from above,” said Beasley, remembering the surprise and joy of the 20,000 WFP staff around the world, and his own surprise at being interrupted during a meeting in Niger in the African Sahel region with the news.

“We can avoid it in 2020 … because world leaders respond with money, stimulus packages, debt suspension,” he said.

Now, Beasley said, COVID-19 is surging again, the economy continues to deteriorate especially in low- and middle-income countries, and there are other waves of lockdowns and lockdowns.

But he said the money available in 2020 will not be available in 2021, so he has used Nobel to meet leaders virtually and in person, talk to parliament and give speeches to sensitize those in power to “this is the tragedy that we have. face – a crisis that is really going to be extraordinary in the future, who knows, 12 to 18 months. “

“Everyone now wants to meet the Nobel Peace Prize winner,” said Beasley, explaining he now has 45 minutes instead of 15 with the leaders and is able to go deeper and explain how bad things will get next year and how. leaders must prioritize programs. “And the response has been very good,” he said.

“I tell them you won’t have enough money to fund all the projects you have historically funded,” he said.

“Those are the things that matter,” said Beasley, but he likened the impending crisis to the Titanic saying “right now, we really need to focus on icebergs, and icebergs are hunger, famine, destabilization and migration. “

Beasley said the WFP needs $ 15 billion next year – $ 5 billion just to prevent hunger and $ 10 billion to implement the agency’s global programs including for malnourished children and school lunches which are often the only food children get – child.

“If I can get it plus our normal money, then we prevent worldwide hunger” and minimize destabilization and migration. she says.

As well as raising extra money from the government, Beasley said, another “big hope” is that the billionaire who has made billions during the COVID-19 pandemic will increase once. He plans to start spreading this message maybe in December or January.

In April, Beasley said 135 million people faced “severe or worse levels of hunger.” Later WFP analysis showed that COVID = 19 could push an additional 130 million people “to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020.”

He said in a virtual interview Wednesday from Rome, where the WFP is based, that while hunger was preventable this year, the number of people facing hunger crisis levels has risen to 270 million.

“There are about three dozen countries that could possibly go into starvation if we don’t have the money we need,” said Beasley.

According to a joint analysis by the WFP and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in October, 20 countries “are likely to face a potentially high spike in acute food insecurity” in the next three to six months, “and require urgent attention.”

Among these, Yemen, South Sudan, northeast Nigeria and Burkina Faso have several areas that “have reached a situation of critical famine after years of conflict or other shocks,” said UN agencies, and further deterioration in the coming months. ” can put you at risk of starvation. “

Other countries requiring “urgent attention” are Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Lebanon, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, they said.

Beasley said the COVID-19 vaccine “will create optimism that will hopefully help boost economies around the world, particularly Western economies. But the WFP executive director said there was already $ 17 billion in economic stimulus this year “and we’re not going to get it globally.”

“We are very, very, very concerned” that with deferred debt payments for low- and middle-income countries restarting in January, new lockdowns and rippling economic impacts, “2021 is going to be a very bad year,” said Beasley.


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Pakistan’s Naya Housing Program to finally reduce poverty | Instant News

ISLAMABAD: Providing a subsidy of Rs300,000 per housing unit for the construction of the first 100,000 houses for low-income groups under the Naya Pakistan Housing Program (NPHP) will fulfill the dream of marginalized groups of owning their own home by paying housing installments instead of rent. Following the announcement of the package for the construction sector under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, large-scale construction activities have been initiated across the country which will ultimately help reduce poverty and unemployment. According to the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NAFDA), the government has allocated Rs30 billion as a subsidy for nuclear power plants which will help lower prices for building materials and boost the country’s economy. Likewise, the government has also lowered interest rates by 90 percent for low-cost homes, while banks provide loans with a mark-up of five percent for five marla homes and seven percent for 10 marla homes. For this reason, loans are provided by various banks which have also formed a special desk called “Mera Pakistan Mera Ghar” to facilitate customers in disbursing loans and providing information about loans, required documents, and loan repayment schedules. All Pakistanis can apply under this scheme. Monthly installments are Rs6,600 on loans worth Rs1 million for the first five years while monthly installments will be Rs13,199 on loans worth Rs2 million, Rs19,799 on loans worth Rs3 million, Rs31,012 on loans worth Rs4 million and Rs38 on installments. 765 for a loan of Rs5 million. There are three categories under this scheme; the first is for the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority (NAHDA) project, which includes 850 square feet of marla homes or apartments. The second, non-NAPDHA projects include a five-marla house or apartment covering an area of ​​850 square feet. Likewise with the third, non-NAPDHA

The project consists of houses on more than 125 square meters to 10 marla with a covered area from 850 square feet to 1100 square feet. The maximum value for the first and second category house or apartment is set at Rs3.5 million while the price for the third category house or apartment is set at Rs6 million. Under this scheme, loans of up to Rs2.7 million will be provided for the first category, a maximum of Rs3 million for the second category and up to Rs5 million for the third category. The government has allocated Rs378 billion to the bank for this purpose. Processing of the ‘No Objection Certificate’ for project approval in a short period of time is being completed by the respective provincial development authorities via a single window portal. The federal cabinet has also passed regulations to provide tax incentives to the construction industry through amendments to the 2001 Income Tax Act and the 1989 Finance Act. The government also provides other perks including a fixed tax system and the provision of low-interest loans to low-income groups and workers in construction sector.


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The Day – TVCCA-Big Y’s annual Food drive to be held Thursday and Friday in Norwich | Instant News

Norwich – The 22nd annual TVCCA-Big Y food drive Thursday and Friday at Norwich Big Y, 224 Salem Turnpike, will continue to seek donations to fill Gemma E. Moran United Way / Labor Food Bank, but the two-day operation will look very different with COVID-19 precautions.

One thing that has not changed, organizers say, is the need for food donations. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread job losses, leaving families struggling financially at a time when donation collections from supermarket buyers have decreased significantly, said Deborah Monahan, executive director of the Thames River Council for Community Action.

“It’s very, very important to hold this food drive at this time,” said Monahan, Wednesday. “First of all, because of the pandemic, and because it’s Thanksgiving season. We have to provide food for the family. “

The annual food drive, co-sponsored by WCTY-97 FM, will change dramatically this year. The drive previously ran 24 hours a day, receiving donations overnight, in a tent placed in front of Big Y’s entrance, with a festive atmosphere from live interviews, music and concert ticket prizes.

This year, the trip will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, with the collection tents located in a small additional parking lot to the right of the main shopping plaza entrance and near Route 82, not in front of the shop entrance. .

Collection will only be done by drive-thru. Donors will be asked to remain in their vehicle while TVCCA volunteers collect donations. Money donations can still be made on site or online at www.tvcca.org. Buyers can place a donated item bag in the trunk of the vehicle or back seat.

“It’s really the ideal arrangement,” said Megan Brown, TVCCA’s senior director of marketing and development. “It’s really perfectly arranged for people to do one round.”

WCTY will still broadcast live from the donation tent, but many of the regular live interviews with TVCCA officials and event sponsors will be pre-recorded, Brown said.

Most needed food items include pasta, soup and broth, brown and white rice, canned and dried beans, canned fish and meat, peanut butter, dry cereals and oatmeal, canned vegetables, tomato products, shelf stable milk, jams and jellies, and 100% juice. All donations must be in undamaged and non-expired packages. No glass containers are accepted.

Food drivers are also looking for frozen turkey, which will be collected in tents and taken back to the supermarket to be stored in the Big Y freezer.

“The good news is that the weather will be on our side,” Monahan said of the expected warm weather forecast. “But the bad news is the weather will be on our side. We have to immediately put that turkey in the freezer. “

All food donations benefit Gemma E.Moran United Way / Labor Food Bank, which distributes the collected food to more than 80 food kitchens, shelters, child care centers, community dining establishments and parent programs. All monetary donations support the TVCCA Client Emergency Fund, which addresses critical client needs that are not covered through other funding sources.

Anyone with questions can contact Lamar Spruill on the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut at (860) 464-3315.

[email protected]


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