The side-effects of Recession



This year the recession seems to be hitting British people harder than ever before. The British public has been informed that the Conservative and Liberal-Democrat austerity measures are essential in resolving government debt! Helping the government cut its deficit may be good in the long term but what are the effects of austerity on the British Public?


Job cuts are an obvious way for businesses to save money on recruitment and to stop pay progression for some employees. Cutting jobs is supposed to increase profit but in practice this does not always  happen without overworking or underpaying employees. Large scale job-cuts increase the national demand for employment and produces more competition for jobs among the poor and unemployed.

Redundancy, voluntary or forced is the classic type of job cut but a zero-hour contracts also leave employees out of work when the demand for work decreases. Zero-hour contracted employees often work under intense pressure to achieve performance related targets. If zero-hour workers fail to achieve their targets or are not able to work flexible shift patterns they can be easily replaced without much legal hassle. Zero-hour contracts do not guarantee work or provide specialist skills, training or qualifications.


Tax is a very useful tool during austerity;  Council Tax, Inheritance Tax, Income Tax, Road Tax and Value Added Tax (VAT) make the government millions of pounds each day. We pay VAT on almost every product we consume. We pay tax on the interest paid on our current and savings accounts; even people on social benefits pay tax.

The government can adjust the level of tax so that people on basic wages end up paying more tax than high income earners. Through taxing big business less money to trade, more international businesses will be encouraged to set up shop in Britain while exploiting their low-paid workers. By increasing public tax the government can target affluent areas with higher taxes for the rich and lower taxes for poor communities decreasing social mobility.


Recession Jobs


As most of our utility products are imported into the country, high inflation pushes these prices up. After the public have their taxes deducted they need to focus on paying their rent, gas , electricity and water rates before anything else. Utility bill’s can rise and fall depending on the season of the year, due to the instability of utility bills they are the hardest payments to try to predict. Not paying these bills can eventually lead to eviction and homelessness.


Relationships are more likely to be negatively affected by austerity. Family and intimate relationships can become strained due to the lack of money. Mothers may be forced into work when they are not ready to help support their family. Men may feel inadequacy due to work dissatisfaction, low wages and less time spent with loved ones. Young people can struggle with feelings of emotional neglect from their parents who work longer hours to support their families.  Many families divide and separate during times of austerity this can lead to individuals feeling isolated and frustrated.


Depression and suicide are the most common side-affects of recessions. People tend to lock-up emotionally and avoid talking about or dealing with the real issues in their lives.  Mental health is just like physical health you wouldn’t ignore a serious cut on your leg dripping with blood so why do people ignore emotional and mental stress? If you forget to check your emotions and push yourself over the edge with trying to pay the bills you could be neglecting your sanity.

People struggling with their emotions can have a negative effect on others around them. Like the flu, negative emotions and attitudes are contagious and can spread like wildfire (e.g London Riots, London Gang Culture). This is why smiling is important as it can block out negativity from penetrating your mind and effecting others around you.

Although being happy is important it is also essential to vent your emotions through healthy activities or talking to like-minded people. There is nothing worse than hiding your true feelings behind a fake smile; talking therapy, laughing, meditation, massage, sports and prayer are all tools which can prevent stress from effecting your mental health. Remember to enjoy the company of others around you rather than constantly concentrating on the economy, and buying things you can’t afford; if you don’t have it, don’t spend it and have a laugh instead.

If you want to contribute more side-effect’s recession feel free to leave yours in the comments section below.

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