You pledged, the Tories, to continue the Labour Party’s aim to end child poverty by the year 2020. Far from ending, three years in, the number of children in poverty has leapt by 300,000.
When I say ‘poverty’, you probably conjure up images of children far away, of TV appeals and ruthless dictators. But this, this is a country riddled with poverty. Turning off the heating and missing days of meals is not cosy frugality. Try it. Turn off the fridge because it’s empty anyway. Sell anything you can see lying around that you might get more than a quid for. Walk everywhere in the same pair of shoes in the pouring rain, with a soaking wet and sobbing child trailing along behind you, into every shop and pub in unreasonable walking distance and ask if they have any job vacancies. Try not to go red as the person behind the counter appraises your dirty jeans and tatty jumper and tells you that there’s nothing. “Not for you”, you add in your head. Trudge home. Pour some tinned tomatoes over dome 39p pasta and try not to hurl it at the wall as your son tells you he doesn’t want it. “I want something else Mummy,” but there isn’t anything else. But aren’t we just supposed to be grateful for our little scraps of tax payers money, and keep calm and carry on? Because that can’t possibly be poverty, not in the sixth richest country in the world with the benevolence of the welfare state. That’s austerity, isn’t it?"