By Mary O'Hara
Seeing that taking strength 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 consequences on huge segments of the inhabitants, depending on courses whose investment used to be slashed, were devastating and should stay felt for generations.
This well timed publication through journalist Mary O’Hara chronicles the real-world results of austerity, removal it from the tasteless, technocratic language of politics and exhibiting simply what austerity skill to bland lives. Drawing on hundreds and hundreds of hours of first-person interviews with a variety of humans and, within the paperback variation, that includes an up-to-date afterword by means of the writer, the publication explores the awful fact of dwelling amid the largest relief of the welfare kingdom within the postwar period and gives a compelling corrective to narratives of shared sacrifice.
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Extra resources for Austerity Bites: A Journey to the Sharp End of Cuts in the UK
They are worn out. Terms such as ‘breaking point’ and ‘desperate situation’ came up in every location. Frontline community workers spoke of how escalating bills and benefits changes were squeezing household finances to such a degree (to say nothing of the bewildering task of trying to understand the myriad changes) that it meant many people were ‘hiding their heads in the sand’ and ‘living day-to-day’ because even to think of how much more they would have to endure might push them over the edge.
69 per cent – resulting from the complex overhaul of the benefits and jobseeking systems. This was clear proof that it wasn’t just a lack of money compelling people to turn to food banks but additional austerityrelated pressures pushing people into food poverty. A sizeable portion were forced to turn to emergency food because of late payment of benefits to which they were actually entitled and (increasingly) sanctions, whereby claimants could be without benefits for weeks on end if they did not comply with strict new regulations on jobseeking.
While the general economic outlook was slightly better by the end of 2013 compared with a year earlier,11 growth was still well below post-recession historical trends, and the real ‘growth industry’ in the UK, it seemed, was food poverty. Throughout 2012 and 2013 numerous reports appeared documenting how hundreds of thousands of people were turning to food banks out of desperation. This afternoon he has walked three miles from his home to collect a food parcel, arriving just after the session began, 23 austerity bites but because he had no ID on him, he then had to walk a mile into the centre of town to get a letter from a charity certifying that he is who he claims to be, and then walk a mile back to be issued with some food.
Austerity Bites: A Journey to the Sharp End of Cuts in the UK by Mary O'Hara