Stiff upper lip, mate: Coping with austerity in Britain

On a previous post, Bud and Silence had an exchange about Britain’s austerity measures, with Bud painting a fairly dismal picture:

Check out the results of the austerity approach in Great Britain. It’s been a disaster with GDP declining a full 2 years after the US began to grow. They’re approach a full blown depression.

Well, I don’t know about all that, but I do know that when I was there at the start of last year, all the buzz was about the steep increase in the VAT, which took effect while I was there. Everywhere I went, businesses had signs out about sales and such that appealed to people’s worries about the tax increase. The newspapers were full of back-and-forth between Labour pols attacking the increase and Tories defending it.

Personally, I didn’t notice the difference — everything was a little more expensive over there than here before the increase, and I didn’t feel a few more few bob here and there. Besides, when you’re on vacation you don’t count pennies the same way — especially since pennies there are different from here to start with.

I did appreciate the sign in front of The Crown Inn in Woodstock (a short bus ride from Oxford). We went in and had lunch, and I enjoyed a couple of VAT-increase-free pints. But then, I would have anyway. It was (we were told) the oldest pub in town, and we got a nice table next to the fireplace. Cheers!

One thought on “Stiff upper lip, mate: Coping with austerity in Britain

  1. tired old man

    The update is that the VAT is now to be applied to pasties — a fast food sort of meat pie. Definitely a line worker type of cheap grease, carbs and salt lunch.

    Seems rather Mittons-esque in that the David Cameron (whose Tory party imposed the VAT) cannot seem to remember the last time he patronized a working-class lunch counter.

    And then there’s some nonsense about the pasty temperature being a consideration so that the same concoction would or would not be subject to the tax, depending upon the ambient temperature.

    See for yourself at

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