MICHAEL’S STORY

“Why should people with nothing pay more than people who have more money?”

I live in a council flat in East London with my mum. I’m a money mentor for Toynbee Hall debt charity. It’s changed my life because I can now help my family and people I know to start to manage their finances better, and it really means a lot to me that I can help others.

I think the poverty premium is really unfair. Why should people with nothing pay more than people who have more money? It’s hard enough for people in poverty already and having to pay extra just isn’t ok. With Brexit happening and all the other difficult things we’re dealing with this just adds to it.

On the poverty premium and how it affects us, we have pre-payment meters for gas and electricity. Me or my mum wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to change them to get better deals that are cheaper, and living in a council flat I am not sure we would be allowed. When we have anything like this mum would rather stick with it then try anything new because she is set in her ways, plus we know nothing about it.

As for contents insurance, we don’t have it, no one has it round where I live. It’s far too much money. If we get burgled we just have to live with it. We just hope we don’t because there is no way we could afford to go out and replace anything we get stolen.

 

Photographs by Paul Sn, a filmmaker whose work explores the lives of people who have been marginalised or misrepresented by mainstream media.