It is in a state of shock I write this post, like many others (or maybe not) I woke to a shock on Friday 8th May to find the Conservatives had an overall majority & we were facing another 5 years of austerity. We are a democratic nation, so the majority have spoken , but who are they, certainly not those affected by the first round of austerity, including those who faced stark choices, such as eat or heat, were subject to the ‘bedroom tax’ & the ever increasing reliance on food banks. All we know is that we face another £12 billion of cuts to welfare planned, yet this lack of knowledge did not stop people voting. As a single working parent, on a low income, I am living in fear of what will happen & I know I am not alone. I have friends with mental health issues who are more frightened & it is compounded by the lack of knowledge about how they will be affected & of course their mental health is deteriorating with this additional pressure. Like many single parents, I did not set out to become a single parent & it certainly isn’t a lifestyle choice, to live on a low income. I have spent the last few days thinking about how I can ensure my family is not affected unduly. I am not saying the welfare state does not need reform, what I am saying is that as a member of society & a hard working family I am worried. The easy answer would be to take on more work; this is perhaps not as workable as at first it seems because, with 5 clients & only a set number of hours in the week I need to be realistic about what I can offer & what I can fit in. All my clients have differing telemarketing & administrative needs, which can fluctuate, sometimes on an hourly basis, While most of my clients book regular weekly hours, which I can pre-plan, a couple will contact me asking for additional work often at very short notice. As someone who takes a pride in what I do, I like to provide a professional, reliable service, & try never to say no, even if it means constantly juggling & moving my other work to a slightly later time or day. However, my clients would never know this as my job is to provide a service, at whatever cost. My daughter has become used to me working later than planned to ensure deadlines are met & 8am in the morning is my saviour! I can regularly be found working on admin tasks, at this time before I get on with the rest of my day, while lunch breaks involve enough time to eat something before getting back on with my calls. My other option is to par back on our expenditure, but to be honest I already shop in a no frills supermarket & search out for bargains in other shops, we certainly don’t have a lavish lifestyle, or even a car. So for now every penny will be scrutinised even more carefully than before, while we brace ourselves for the next round of reform.