It clicked with Little Georgey at around the time of his eleventh birthday. At first it was his father’s inventiveness, the way there was always some unfathomable new excuse: No, there could be no new holiday, not while the roof needed fixing. No, there would be no big birthday presents this year, not while his mother’s job was unsettled. The roof was never fixed. His mum worked happily. But there were no big presents, no holiday. Little George asked why. His father shook his head and laughed. Little boy, he said, little boy, it’s the way things work. You’ll learn.
How to get the austerity chic look!
Step into this season’s austere fashions by correcting your posture on fiscal deficit. Reduce the appearance of fine tax credits for lower-income earners and plump the riches of the richest. Slip into something less comfortable by removing housing benefit and public services. Look edgy with the latest must-have increases in NHS waiting lists. Remember, DIY rules, so try making your own school or hospital. And if you’re older, adopt the ‘cold-face’ complexion trend by removing all traces of winter fuel allowances – and add a bored expression simply by turning off your TV.