The ‘New Poor’ and the Always Poor

From The Call, paper of the British Socialist Party, April 8 1920

THE DAILY news has, during the last four weeks been printing heart rending letters from those whom it terms the ‘New Poor’ - middle class people who, living a pretty comfortable existence before the war, have for various reasons not had their incomes increased to keep pace with the rising cost of living ... We read how these poor folk now have to do without a maid ... how the wife has to find the cheapest market, make a joint last two or three days, make the children’s clothes, take in a lodger ... The workers who have always been poor would be amused at these tales - they have had a lifelong apprenticeship at saving and scraping; in mending boots and clothes, buying offal and cheap cag-mag to eat; they are used to the mother, the seven-days-a-week slave, not having a decent gown or hat to sally out on a Sunday and so stays at home ...

Ah, good friends of the middle class, we know what poverty is. You haven’t got down to that yet. We hope you will not.