I got a £350 cost of living payment. What happens after that? It’s hardly going to get me through the winter | Liz
At the weekend, I went to the seaside with my two kids. It was a spur of the moment thing. I’ve been working a few extra hours and I thought well, let’s splash out! Literally. We took advantage of the heatwave and sunbathed and all paddled in the sea together. My budget wouldn’t stretch beyond one night at a hotel, but we had a lovely time. That’s probably us done in terms of holidays, to be honest. If I can do some extra hours over the rest of the summer and put away a bit of money, hopefully we’ll be able to go away again for another day in October.
I took the kids to a Brewers Fayre for breakfast. We don’t eat out a lot – not surprising really, as a single mum of two kids who works part-time and gets no financial support from either of their dads. I’m all for dads wanting an equal say in the parenting of their kids when they’ve split up from the mums. But that’s got to mean digging into their pockets and paying to bring them up, too. Fat chance of my kids’ dads doing that.
We booked a table for three and got the buffet. It was a bargain £12 for the three of us, and it was lovely. We filled our boots, then I wrapped three bagels in tissue paper and snuck them into my bag for lunch to save money. I also stuck a load of butters and Nutellas in my handbag. Unfortunately, the butter melted all over my makeup bag in the heat. I was not impressed.
Still, the heatwave’s been great for us. I know it’s terrible for the world, but it has meant we’ve not had to have the heating on. We’ve got to be thankful for small mercies.
But I’m terrified of what’s coming up next. Inflation of 13%. Fuel bills that are impossible for us to pay. In April, they were talking about energy bills rising to £2,000 a year for a typical family. That was shocking. But now they’re talking about it rising to £4,000 by the beginning of next year. It’s a nightmare. And the politicians are doing nothing. Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss make any number of promises about what they’ll do as prime minister – “I’ll stand on one leg in parliament and fanny my arsehole for six months” – and then they do bugger all.
What have we been given to help us? Apparently eight million low-income households are being given £650 to help (provided in two instalments) to help with the cost of living crisis. I’ve got my first instalment of £325. My issue is that this is a one-off payment. What happens after that? It’s hardly going to get me through this crisis.
I gave Elon Musk a shout-out in the column a couple of months ago. I thought he might give me a loan. Well, he hasn’t. Either he doesn’t read the Guardian or he’s a tight sod.