Paul doesn’t say much, but comments as they wait for the food bank officials to decide whether they are eligible for a fourth, discretionary package that the sanctions system has been very hard for the family. “It cripples you. If it wasn’t for the food banks, I don’t know how I’d get it, other than steal it. They don’t understand what it’s going to be like when they take your money away from you, when you’ve got kids. It’s impossible.”
“You feel embarrassed coming here,” he adds, as a volunteer comes out of the stock room with two plastic bags and a box of food. They say thank you and hurry away, visibly uncomfortable.From Food banks: a life on handouts - food banks are springing up across Britain to help struggling families. But is charity really the answer for people being let down by the state?
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Dimitris Christoulas has already vanished under a swarm of platitudes and slogans, another martyr in a country that already has too many. But he must have intended that. The suicide note reportedly found on him ends with a call to arms. It refers to the government as “the occupation government of Tsolakoglou” (Georgios Tsolakoglou was the Quisling prime minister under the axis in 1941) and predicts that the futureless young will one day hang the traitors upside down in Syntagma, as the Italians hanged the dictator Mussolini (…) Whatever happens next, Christoulas will still be dead, a symbol of all those who have lost their lives to the crisis. Dimitris Christoulas and the legacy of his suicide for Greece - Maria Margaronis for Comment is Free
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Britain is a poorer country than we realised and it is not going to get richer any time soon. The decisions taken today are going to have a real effect on the living standards of millions of people. Public sector workers will have two more years of below-inflation pay rises and public sector job losses are now expected to reach more than 700,000. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, earnings are not expected to overtake inflation in significant terms until 2014. The next election will be an austerity election. And even after that it will be grim. Osborne has only managed to stay on course to met his deficit reduction targets by planning a £15bn spending cut after the election. But he hasn’t told us where that money will come from. That pain is for another day.
Andrew Sparrow’s thoughts on George Osborne’s Autumn Statement.