Thursday, 4 April 2013

Return of the Ragman?

Unbelievable article in the guardian today

MPs complaining at £15 a day meal allowance

I and many people like me who work part-time and claim a little  housing benefit are living on £15 a week for food once bills are paid. That is if we haven`t had to use extra heating in this freezing weather. Often it is a case of living on £10 for food and putting another £5 towards the heating bill. 

Work full-time then I hear you shout, not that simple with caring responsibilities and no they do not live with me. No I don`t receive extra benefits for caring but it does restrict my ability to work longer hours. No I don`t smoke or drink. I have freeview tv and pay £6 a month for internet access.

I was born in the 50`s so I know how to live on porridge and home made soup, go to the market at the end of the day etc.  Many people do not.

I do strongly resent paying for Mps meals at all why can`t they take a packed lunch like the rest of us.

Return of the Ragman    (now called a clothing distribution centre)

When I was growing up in the 50`s my father worked as a window cleaner in the mornings and a ragman in the afternoons.  I and my brothers and sisters often went to the rag yard where he weighed in what he had collected. The woman in charge sat with a large stick near the scales and used the stick to check for bricks and stones amongst the rags. Just in case the ragman was trying to make the weight seem heavier.  I was always terrified of her she seemed so daunting to a child.

Today I took my few unwanted clothes to a ragyard and received £7 for them. I spent this in the £1 shop on household bits. A year ago I would have given them to a charity shop.  Life in Britian today for many people is much harder than many realise.

Maybe I will follow my fathers example, get some cheap toys to give the kids in return for rags and trawl the streets shouting `Any old rags!`

I have lived through hard times, three day working week, repossession in the 80`s when interest rates were sky high, job loses and divorce.  I have never taken my worn out clothes to a ragyard since I was a child.

How scary is that.

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