Austerity Bites: A Journey to the Sharp End of Cuts in the by Mary O'Hara

By Mary O'Hara

Due to the fact that taking energy in 2010, the Coalition govt within the uk has driven via a drastic software of cuts to public spending, all within the identify of austerity. the results on huge segments of the inhabitants, depending on courses whose investment was once slashed, were devastating and should stay felt for generations.

This well timed publication by way of journalist Mary O’Hara chronicles the real-world results of austerity, elimination it from the tasteless, technocratic language of politics and exhibiting simply what austerity capacity to bland lives. Drawing on 1000s of hours of first-person interviews with quite a lot of humans and, within the paperback version, that includes an up to date afterword by way of the writer, the booklet explores the bleak fact of residing amid the most important aid of the welfare country within the postwar period and provides a compelling corrective to narratives of shared sacrifice.

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Additional info for Austerity Bites: A Journey to the Sharp End of Cuts in the UK

Example text

People who were comfortable last year are in dire need of just getting something for the kids for Christmas. People are struggling to pay their rent; they’re struggling to pay their mortgage. I know every time I go to the supermarket it’s going to cost me a bit more. I dread to think what my gas and electricity bills are going to be after the winter. I know a lad in his 50s who, by the time he’s paid his rent, lives in one room. ” On the Easterhouse estate on the outskirts of Glasgow, Pauline Smith, a manager at Connect Community Trust,10 which provides a range of services to local people including employment and debt advice, pointed out that many people were failing to grasp the full extent of austerity policies – because they didn’t dare contemplate it.

40 After the election of the Coalition government two years later, the electorate was told that the only way to ‘fix’ the 34 money’s too tight to mention country’s problems was to cut, cut and cut some more rather than deploying an ongoing stimulus, as was the case in the US, and even after the economy began to grow. To the despair of many people – and most certainly the poorest, including low-paid workers in receipt of benefits, thousands of whom found themselves standing in queues at food banks they never dreamed would exist – this austerity song was still being sung three-and-a-half years on.

50 And there were economists too, champions of austerity who piped up (some even declared that austerity had gone nowhere near far enough). 51 Addressing other senior civil servants at an event in London, he said: 37 austerity bites “There is a very, very long way to go. We were reminded only last week that the economy as a whole remains about 4 per cent below the size that it was in 2008. ” In this context it is perhaps not surprising that Chris Mould referred to the situation with food banks as “a wake-up call”.

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