The brutal effects of austerity in UK 2014

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Journalist Mary O’Hara tells VIEW why she decided to write the book, Austerity Bites, which concentrates on describing the brutal effects of economic cuts on working class families throughout the United Kingdom

In the forward to Austerity Bites, comedian and political activist Mark Thomas writes: “This book gives voice to those at the bottom of the heap , those who struggle just to exist. This book is ammunition. Use it.”

The reader is taken on a grim journey by author Mary O’Hara in which we get to hear the voices of those suffering the brunt of austerity.

Ms O’Hara said: “The book seems to have done really well, bearing in mind that it doesn’t cheer anyone up. It’s getting a lot of traction with academics, researchers and librarians which is where I want it to be. So it will hopefully end up on courses, such as social studies.

“I had five and a half months to write the book which was supported by a grant from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

“People pump out the numbers about the effects of austerity but no one really has a grasp of what that really means in reality. The things that were not getting reported was the multiple impact on certain groups, such as the disabled, who are being hit with cuts to council tax benefit, no access to crisis loans, bedroom tax, benefits capped, etc. “I wanted to put a human face on the deluge of things that were happening to people. But I also felt sad that I had to write a book about people living in misery.

Mary goes on to say: “Without an effective opposition to austerity there is no real opposition. “You have all these fractured groups scrambling around, trying to do there best, to highlight the injustices of austerity but you have to set that against the entire political class plus 95 percent of the media carrying us as if this was inevitable and there was no choice and trying to pin this on people who are not responsible for the economic situation.”

• Austerity Bites is published by Policy Press –




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