In 1929, when I was nine years old, the Wall Street stock market collapsed. Some stockbrokers threw themselves from the top windows of skyscrapers.
Soon, one quarter of American workers were unemployed and a depression ensued which spread to Britain. It was much worse than the recent depression.My father’s wage was cut by one fifth and my grandfather was sacked along with hundreds of his colleagues.
In 1932, Roosevelt was elected as US President and set about using the ideas of the English economist JM Keynes, and got America working again.
Our Tory government, wedded to 18th century economics, as some of them still are, failed to take any effective action until 1937 when they woke up to the dangers of Hitler’s Germany and started to spend money on re-armament which got British people back to work.
After years of deflation, the price of a new Ford Popular motor car went up from £100 to £110.
At the present time the Con/LibDem coalition is borrowing some £7 billion a month and is spraying out contracts to give the impression of economic recovery.
One sign is the enormous amount of road works. In 2010 this Government cancelled 80% of the school rebuilding programme, and put thousands of people out of work.
Rather than be unemployed, many became self employed. Some did well but many are struggling to make a living with the average income of £207 a week.
As a 94-year-old war veteran and widower I have required the availability of 24-hour care, and under the Labour government and Labour Council rules I received considerable help to pay the costs.The present Government has withdrawn grants to county councils and I now get no financial help.
Many other painful cuts to services have been made but we have to make sacrifices so that highly paid footballers can be given at least £1,000 a week income tax cashback and the sharedealer who made £5 million last year gets £20,000 a week cashback.
Charles Smith MBE
Yew Tree Drive,