• Budget should address basic needs
    March 06,2012
     

    Budget should address basic needs

    Hi, my name is Sandy Gaffney. I am a member of the People’s Budget Campaign of the Vermont Workers’ Center. I used to live at Weston Mobile Home Park until my home was completely destroyed by the flooding from Irene in August.

    It was impossible to find an affordable place to live, so I am now renting a two-room — not two-bedroom, two-room — apartment. In rent alone this costs significantly more than I used to pay for the mobile home that I owned, but the part that I am really struggling with is the cost of heat. I just got my propane bill and it was $288 for just one month. I live on Social Security and a part-time job, so that heating cost is completely unaffordable.

    If this is what it costs me for my little two-room apartment, I can’t even imagine how single parents with multi-bedroom places are keeping warm this winter. I know that some of them are making unacceptable choices, like between heat and food or heat and medicine.

    This is what the people of Vermont are dealing with. We will no longer accept the idea that we have to reduce tax contributions from the wealthy while people are struggling more than ever.

    Our government should be making a people’s budget where resources follow needs, and not the other way around. We have human rights and it is time they were respected.

    Sandy Gaffney

    Montpelier

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