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I work 50 hours a week and I’m still in arrears on my council tax. What more can I do? | Sharron Spice

With food, rent and bills to pay, I can’t afford the council tax hike. The government needs to protect working people

  • This article is part of the heat or eat diaries: dispatches from the frontline of Britain’s cost of living emergency

Thanks to Jeremy Hunt, council tax is going to rise by up to 5% and I am already in arrears. I don’t think I can cope with austerity again. It was so hard the last time: I lost my job, I struggled and I ended up on benefits. Council tax was the first thing I got into debt with, because it’s not a priority when you’ve got food to buy, a flat to look after. I can’t afford to pay it. With everything that’s going on, I’m like: “Council tax will have to wait”, “TV licence will have to wait”. I am paying what I can. But I’m not going to pay council tax and then be sitting at home cold, eating bread and soup when I work six days a week.

The government needs to protect working people. We need a set of fresh ideas and fresh eyes. These guys are just peddling the same thing. Rishi Sunak is still mentioning Jeremy Corbyn. Is that all you’ve got? It’s so bad! And why is nothing happening to Kwasi Kwarteng or Liz Truss? How are they allowed to get away with it, make us poorer, and just walk away? They’ve vanished. No consequences. If it was a normal job, she would have been accused of gross misconduct.I wanted to join the protests calling for a general election, but I can’t. I’m two months into my new job, working on a pilot youth project that uses a holistic approach – including CBT – for young offenders. I can’t run the risk of getting arrested and losing my job.

Sharron Spice is in her 30s and lives in London. She tweets at @mSharronSpice

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