So Ian Duncan Smith, you could live on £53 a week if you had to.
There is a petition going round the place urging him to do just that and I fear it could backfire, because I believe he could do if he had to for only a week. You see it isn’t quite as simple as being able to live on £53 for a week, it is about being able to do that week in and week out without any savings to meet the emergencies or even a new pair of shoes or a haircut to go to that interview which might make all the difference. It isn’t about going without the luxuries, it is about the way such a sum means that in a month or twos time you have to cut back on the things most people would see as the necessities of modern life.
Yesterday my daughter and I both jumped in the car and went to Cumbrae for a day out which we both well and truly deserved. Now Millport is hardly the Rivera, however by the time the petrol, the ferry, the lunch, the bike hire, the hot chocolate to warm us was all paid for we had just about spent that £53 in one day, and we weren’t being extravagant. It is about how do you manage a day away (yes I now you can get a day away for less than £53) never mind a holiday if all your money is going on food and utility bills, it is about with rising costs and benefits pegged to less than inflation not having anything to cut back on to meet those costs as they continue to rise.
You see it isn’t about managing for a week it is about managing for a month a year or maybe longer. It is about the wearing down of a persons spirit during that time, it is about the children being brought up in poverty, it is about not being able to fix the cooker or washing machine if it breaks. Yes you could manage on £53 a week, but would you want to, I suggest that when MPs next get to vote on their salary you suggest they reduce it to £53/week as that is apparently adequate, okay so you are working so let us be generous and see how much they like the idea of being on double it £106/week!