Friday 20 January 2017

Carol Hunt: A growing wealth gap puts burden on the poor

The wealthy bore the brunt of the financial meltdown, but were largely able to take the hit, says Carol Hunt

Published 24/11/2013 | 01:00

HF Carol Hunt Charity S_15.jpg
HF Carol Hunt Charity S_15.jpg

DID you feel like throwing your slippers at the telly? I know I did, sitting there, watching that man from the European Commission with the unpronounceable name (Istvan Szekely) telling us that the wealthy had borne the brunt of the Troika-imposed austerity measures.

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I wasn't feeling particularly wealthy I can tell you, watching the evening news with my son's woolly hat on my head and a thick blanket wrapped around me because we'd run out of coal and I was damned if I was turning the heat on yet.

Like most working families in similar situations, I felt as if we had borne the brunt of the financial meltdown of the last few years: a huge drop in income, increased taxes and charges, little or no discretionary spending and palpitations at the thought of upcoming Christmas expenses. And I know people – developers, builders, investors, those involved in construction – who have lost the shirts off their backs, some of whom are now solely dependent on charities like St Vincent de Paul for food and basics.

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