Letter: Job losses no longer the electoral 'dog that didn't bark'

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The Independent Online
Sir: Today is the first time I have not bought the Independent since the day it first appeared on the news-stands. I will miss it very much, but I can no longer afford to buy it since my husband (aged 58) was made redundant two years ago.

I have a part-time job and my salary barely covers our mortgage, gas bill and my fares to work. The Independent was the last of our luxuries; and even our necessities have been severely pruned (eg, no heating unless there is frost outside).

My husband has desperately tried to get work, but the only jobs available for a man of his age are part-time and so poorly paid that he cannot afford to take them, as to do so would increase our council tax and make him liable for educational fees (he is on the second year of a night school plumbing course). It seems that employers are taking unjust advantage of the present state of high unemployment.

Like many of the unemployed, we feel betrayed by a government dedicated to an ideology based on greed. We feel equally betrayed by an opposition party more keen to save its own jobs than it was to protect the unions or to oppose an unjust government. Also, we feel betrayed by the European Union, which allowed this country to opt out of the Social Chapter.

My husband is just another person thrown on the scrap heap by this so-called civilised country.

Yours sincerely,

JEAN HUMPHREY-GASKIN

Wembley, Middlesex

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