In the 1960s we had full employment, the only single parents were widows not even men could claim the Widow’s Allowance.
If you became pregnant then the father either married you, or you gave up your baby for adoption thus bringing happiness to a childless couple.
The State Child Allowance was paid only for the second and subsequent children to married couples.
Children never came home to an empty home!
Nowadays, single parent children are all too common and some don’t even know who their fathers are and very often have to act as head cook and bottle washer to their siblings because the parent is not at home.
House prices were based on one person’s earnings and you had to have saved with a mortgage company for three years before they would consider lending you the money.
This meant that the married woman could give up work on the birth of her first child and be able to stay home and look after it. No one expected to receive Government support for child minding.
There was also rent control to make renting cheaper than buying a house.
With so many mothers at home there was always someone in the street delivering or collecting things which meant that burglaries were less frequent than they are now.
There was always someone to talk to when you went out as you knew everyone in the road. If they weren’t seen then a neighbour would call in to see if they were okay.
Children could play in the street in full view of their parents. Nowadays there are no places to play as all the playing fields have been sold off and there are too many cars for them to play safely.
There was no VAT included in the price of anything, but Purchase Price on luxury goods.
Nowadays the price of a ticket to the theatre or concert is far beyond a retired person left alone youngster on Job Seekers Allowance, so they resort to buying two drinks for the price of one at local bars.
All this has now gone thanks to people not bothering to turn out to vote – at the last election the turnout was down to 44%!
We are controlled by the computer which means that cuts in staff and the closing of factories and shops in this country and the work going abroad.
We had nationalised utilities – all now sold off to foreign countries, a rail service now all foreign owned and two thirds of the lines closed, recommended price control on all goods – so we have a supermarket war and corner shops all gone because they can’t compete because of increased rent, rates and heating costs. The corner shop was usually the hub of local information and contacts which held the community together.
We had plenty of jobs because we were not in the EU and could control our prices and exports. Sunday shopping, maternity and proposed paternity leave for parents has resulted in ‘job blocking’ so young people cannot get jobs.
Companies used to have training schemes and day release courses ranging from basic craft to Higher National Certificate which could be converted to a degree so that employees could gain qualifications but still have a job, work experience and no debt.
As for the free bus pass – if it wasn’t for that then there would not be any bus service during the day as commuters only need public transport first thing in the morning and in the evening.
The ‘Grey Brigade’ are missing a golden opportunity to form their own political party and unite against the existing parties who are just there to ‘win the nest election’ and ‘feather their own nests’.
They have done nothing but cut funding to care centres, care workers and even sold off all the playing fields for housing which can only be affordable for very rich people and not be held to account for not carrying out their election promises!
I am sure that many Mature Times readers could add to the above list other situations that have led to loss of the local community and caring for those on their own.
Mrs A Essex