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UK ministers and their allies are fond of talking about the need to reduce the welfare bill. They give the impression that the welfare bill goes to feckless scroungers, but almost never mention any statistics about who is actually claiming the money.
With his boast of a recovering economy and rising disposable income, George Osborne seems to many people to be living in a different world to the one they inhabit. The feel good factor apparently being detected in Westminster is completely absent for the vast majority of the population, particularly outside of South East England. Perhaps it’s not surprising, as many official statistics seem increasingly removed from the real experience of the majority of the population
If anyone’s looking round for a symbol of modern capitalism, I can think of nothing better to suggest than self-service checkout machines.
The following advertisement recently appeared in my local newspaper. ‘Female carer required to support client with all aspects of personal care in own home. Five calls a day between 7am and 10pm over 7days. Driver preferred. £6.75 an hour, 16-20 hours a week.’