COMMENT: I’m sorry Theresa May, but austerity isn’t over simply because you say it is 3 years ago

COMMENT: I’m sorry Theresa May, but austerity isn’t over simply because you say it is

I’m sorry Theresa May, but austerity isn’t over.

Austerity isn’t over simply because you say it is.

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Austerity isn’t over for diabetic former soldier David Clapson, who died in 2013 just 18 days after his benefits were stopped by the Department for Work and Pensions, and he could no longer afford to refrigerate his insulin. For David and his family, austerity isn’t over.

David is just one of an estimated 120,000 people who have died as a direct result of austerity. For those people and their families, austerity isn’t simply 'over' because you say it is, Theresa May.

You have called yourself a feminist in the past, but for the thousands of women – because that is who austerity has affected the most – austerity is not over and it will not be for a long time.

For the record numbers of families relying on food banks, austerity isn’t over. These precarious lives you and your colleagues have created will continue to be precarious for long after your words at conference.

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For the thousands of children who now rely on their schools for their meals, austerity isn’t over. For those same schools struggling to provide equipment for lessons because of years of cuts, austerity isn’t over. For the teachers and other public sector workers whose salaries have fallen thousands of pounds in real terms in 2010, austerity isn’t simply ‘over’. That isn’t how any of this works.

For the disadvantaged families whose Sure Start Centres have permanently closed, austerity isn’t simply over because you say it is. Your words don’t bring those vital resources back.

For those whose access to books and other library services has been taken away, austerity isn’t over. Unless those libraries are about to reopen on Monday morning, your words are meaningless.

For those who have lived through the biggest fall in living standards in memory, for those who are living in poverty in 2018, austerity isn’t over and it won’t be for a long time. Theresa May, you and your colleagues have created an Austerity Generation, who will feel the effects of your decisions long after you’ve danced off into the political sunset.

You told your party conference that “a decade after the financial crash, people need to know that the austerity it led to is over and that their hard work has paid off.”

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You’re half right. Our hard work has paid off for the top 1%, whose wealth has continued to increase whilst the rest of us have suffered.

Like Thatcherism before it, austerity has changed our lives and changed our communities, perhaps irrevocably. This is the awful legacy you’ll leave behind when your time in government has finally finished.

Theresa May, this isn’t over.