Older generation had it much worse
PRIME Minister Theresa May recently announced an end to austerity, but what exactly is the modern-day interpretation of austerity?
My father was born in 1900 and my mother in 1906, like many of their generation they lived through two world wars.
My father died in 1948 after suffering what we now call post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), leaving my mother to bring up eight out of 12 children by herself (the four oldest children were either working or married).
I remember well the stories she used to tell us about the hard times she endured feeding, clothing and keeping a roof over our heads and having to rely on rations until the early 1950s.
This was austerity. Not having enough money to buy a packet of fags, bottle of wine or the latest mobile phone is NOT austerity.
I am fully aware that many people depend on food banks, however in my parents’ day there were no food banks as we know them today, no benefits like child credit or housing benefits.
All they had was an occasional means-tested Red Cross parcel of food and some clothing for the children.
Since the destruction of British industry at the hands of the trade unions in the 1970s, governments have made a bad situation worse by making people better off on benefits than at work.
We are now faced with a situation where the population is growing faster than housing, health services and employment and infrastructure can cope with, due in part to mass migration with more people coming to live here every year.
This has brought about a new kind of Austerity, not caused by wars but by poor government decisions and greedy politicians.
I expect it will take many years to put things right, I just hope and pray that whatever government is elected to serve and protect the British people, they live up to their election promises. ALAN PIPER