Spoke at length to a constituent today who left me speechless - in the sense that I had no answers - at least none that I felt it appropriate to offer. She just brought home to me the scale of punishment that is being handed out to people who have worked hard to raise a family without relying on the state.
My constituent is a successful schoolteacher earning just about enough to take her into the higher rate tax band. Her husband has taken on the role of caring for their three children. So they are going to lose all of their child allowance, knowing that other couples earning almost twice as much will be keeping theirs. She also pointed out that she will have to pay a lot more of her wages to fund her pension, and that she will have to work for longer before she receives it.
Now to that which, entirely reasonably, made her so angry that she decided for the first time in her life to raise her feelings with her MP. She knows people that live ever so comfortably on the state, spending the money she pays in taxes, and never giving a thought to working to earn their own money. And she's had to watch while bankers, with shameless greed, have pocketed billions in bonuses, after her taxes were used to bail them out following their spectacular incompetence. Like her and many before me, I do find these millionaire bankers to be like sewers - nauseating but necessary.
As I listened, I felt rather helpless. The issues she raised are way 'beyond my pay grade' to change. I could have pointed out that the previous Government so screwed up the economy that we have little choice but to take tough decisions to repair the mess - but I didn't. I do not think it would have helped. But when I listen to really hard working and responsible people telling me how it is, I feel sickened by the likes of Gordon Brown and Ed Balls and their economic 'clever dick' illiteracy refusing to accept any shard of blame for the appalling damage they inflicted on the British economy. Pray they never get the chance to do it again.