Tuesday, April 2, 2013

£53 a week, in Tonbridge? Are they 'avin a giraffe?!..

I see that Tunbridge Wells MP and rising star of politics, Greg Clark, has joined the £53 a week row. Work ad Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has got himself into hot water over suggesting that he could easily survive on that amount and now Mr. Clark is trying to soften the government's stance by suggesting that it would be very difficult especially for those used to a comfier existence. That bit I don't doubt so the question is whether it's possible to survive on 53 quid a week if you cut things to the bone. At first I thought this a ridiculous notion. Ridiculous until I learned that they are talking about the amount you have AFTER bills and rent/mortgage are paid. Admittedly the last family Chinese takeaway I ordered cost not far off that but then did I really need that meal. Couldn't I have chosen to shop wisely at Sainsbury's and gone for the Jamie Oliver £5 meals option instead. Of course the answer is yes. I think the £5 refers to a family so an individual's share of that is £1.25. Following that argument it would be possible to feed yourself on £8.75 a week. Add a loaf of bread, even a nice one, a few bottles of beer at £2 each (and it's possible to buy them a lot cheaper) a reasonably priced bottle of wine, fish and chips, meat and cheese for sandwiches and I still make that under £35. All of which would leave around £17 for other items. I know I'm stretching the argument to make a point but, based on this information, it would at least appear to be possible if rather uncomfortable.  But then there's household items, sweets for the kids, Christmas presents, cinema, computer games and all those other temptations that modern life throws at us.....

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