For the government and the City of London, the ‘austerity’ measures are all about cold balance sheets, charts and slashing figures on computer screens. However these cuts are also about real people facing real misery.

The website has revealed that, as a result of the attacks on workers’ living standards to pay for the bosses’ crisis, one in five mothers are now regularly missing meals so that their kids can have enough to eat. The website surveyed over 2,000 mothers and discovered that most of them have seen their situation get worse financially in the last year. Labour has already noted that just the VAT rise alone has hit families to the tune of around £450 per year.

The report goes on to note that: 

  • One third of those surveyed have borrowed cash from relatives and friends to meet bills.
  • One quarter used credit cards to cover costs, building up debt on the account.
  • Five percent have taken out so-called payday loans, which are the legal equivalent to loan shark deals complete with massive rates of interest.
  • Almost half of those surveyed have sold or pawned stuff to meet living costs.


Introducing the survey, Netmum’s founder Sally Russell explained: “ …seven in ten families in the UK are living on the edge of existence… Mums shouldn’t be missing meals to feed their children or turning to loan sharks in modern Britain. Family finances are so strained that any more pressure will turn this personal crisis into a catastrophe for the nation” (quoted in Metro 16/2/12)

The latest rise in unemployment figures, covering the last quarter of 2011, has provided further evidence of this with women making up two-thirds of the additional 48,000 people now stuck on the dole.  The figures also reveal a sharp rise in part-time working with an additional 90,000 being forced to take up this work in the absence of fulltime jobs.

This is the real face of the cuts and ‘austerity’ measures being pushed through by the Tories to placate the bankers who helped get us into this mess in the first place. It is they and the system they support who should be paying the price. Socialist policies are the only way forward – capitalism has failed and has no solution other than misery for the many.

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