As the pressures on our various budgets increase and as more demands are made with apparently reducing means of paying for them some intriguing stories popped up. In places where major concessions were made in the past those who make decisions now have some awkward choices.
This tale of woe and misery comes from the People's Republic of South Yorkshire namely Barnsley where in the Age of Blunkett and Scargill back in the 1980's the locals were showered with gifts if not exactly from the gods then from those on local authorities who believed that Stalin was the Almighty.
The article is just a little one sided and omits some things that might be said. There had been free rail passes for pensioners to travel at all times. This has been taken back to parallels with the national scheme. But the Senior Railcard option, at a modest fee, is not mentioned.
One thing that raised both eyebrows was referring to the Library cuts where it is said that retired teachers and lawyers had suffered. Teachers have had a national pension scheme, a quite reasonable final salary one with early retirement options.
So anyone with long enough service could well have one of around the average national weekly earnings with provision for widows as well. As for lawyers to be numbered among the poverty stricken one can only wonder. Is the local population really so law abiding and free of legal disputes?
If you look at the numbers closely enough it is not quite a mass movement, more of a collection of local Left wing interests in a district noted for hard left Labour sympathies. It would take a long blog to deconstruct what this is all about, just use your critical faculties.
It does encapsulate on a small scale the problems facing any government coming into power. For decades the goodies were given out believing that boom after boom would pay for it all and the rich could be taxed to the hilt.
Now the costs of all this are rising and rising and most of the rich have made other arrangements. So the people who have to pay are more and more not just the middling orders as the media suggests but the ordinary people who do work in basic jobs and who are caught in the tax net.
If you are in the lower ranges of income and find yourself trying to travel to work, it must be difficult if you find the train is full of "Freedom Riders" who do not pay, occupy the seats, and have the spare to "boost consumer spending" while you are paying for them and finding it hard, very hard, to cover your living costs.
Is it any wonder that so many of the younger generations, notably those who have to work have given up on government and voting?