Dear Coalition...

Dear Coalition,

Please do not increase fuel duty - you are making me poor.

You have successfully forced me out of the job market. Congratulations. I was on maternity leave with my second recession child (yes, I know I shouldn't have children in a recession) when I realised that my NHS salary on returning to work (34 hours per week) would not cover the cost of childcare for two children. I do not live down south and the childcare is not what I would call expensive, but for two children for the year, it was more than my salary.

Because I didn't want not to be at work or bettering myself, I decided to go to university and get the degree I should have got when I was 18. Having got into a very good university to study philosophy, politics and economics (yes, I'm after your job eventually), I am now doing over a 100 mile round trip three times a week. This is my choice. However, I am spending £20 a day on petrol. I would love to get the train, but there are only five a day and none of them fit around my timetable. 

Please do not increase fuel duty, as I am going to have to question whether or not I can afford to be at university.
I may not be helping the economy by not having a credit card, but I am scared of debt. I want to be able to feed and clothe my family without getting into debt. Our house is a small two bedroom terrace and we would love to move but we cannot afford the next step up. We do not splash out on things we do not need (you won't find a flatscreen tv in our house, or unnecessary waste). Indeed, we are turning the heating off and sitting under blankets in the living room to save some money. The children just wear lots of jumpers! I scrimp and save. I rarely buy new clothes, mainly second-hand on ebay or from jumble sales. I try as hard as I can to make ends meet.

So now we are dependant on my husband's salary and my student loans. I am not 'allowed' to earn, because I am on a career break. We get help towards our childcare, which is less than ten percent of our childcare costs. So every month, we are on minus money before we begin to think about feeding ourselves and our children.

I am not asking you to give me more, or saying that I am entitled to more. Yes it is going to be a huge struggle for the next few years, but that is our choice (although it would have been a struggle whichever option we chose). But please, please, please, do not increase the price of fuel.


A hard-working citizen.

Photo courtesy of Nicholas Tarling