Budget 1999: Case Study: The Low-Pay Family - `Life will still be a struggle for us'
BEFORE YESTERDAY the Goodwins and their children were living off little more than pounds 150 a week. This morning they will still be struggling, having been helped only marginally by a Budget they believe was designed for the better-off.
"There were no great surprises. I think it was the kind of mid-term Budget you might have expected," said Mr Goodwin, who is training to be a Higher Education teacher. "We seem to exist in a vacuum that never really gets addressed."
Mr Goodwin, who has two degrees - an MA and a BA in art - and used to work part-time in an art gallery, returned to college to try to improve his job opportunities. The family survive from his mature student's grant of pounds 3,900, a student loan of pounds 2,700 and child benefit of pounds 20.75 a week. They have no savings and survive through an overdraft and "sliming around the bank-managers".
The only changes to their income will be the reduction of pounds 50 on their annual car licence fee and the pre-announced increase in universal child benefit from April to pounds 14.40 for the eldest child and pounds 9.60 for subsequent children. (The figures are currently pounds 11.45 and pounds 9.30 respectively.)
"It has not been a budget that involves any philosophy," said Mr Goodwin. "It does not address the issue of whether lone parents should be forced to take a job no matter what sort of job, rather than deciding it is a worthwhile task to bring up children.
"Living how we do and where we do, it is so easy to see what happens if you ignore a generation."
Mr Goodwin said the Budget had not addressed public transport. "The other night I was at the bus stop waiting for the 7pm bus. I was there an hour and the bus never showed up and I had walk home in the rain. It is ridiculous that in a metropolis like this there is not adequate public transport to make what should be a 10 minute journey across the city."
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 5 Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...
£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...