Older gen­er­a­tion had it much worse

The Chronicle - - Feedback -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.