Going Down Gordon Brown - Alice Nunn
- with poems by Andrew Mackirdy
Andrew lived quietly in a small town in North-East England with his 90-year-old mother. The money from his Incapacity Benefit paid for their food, his mother paid for the heating from her Age Pension and they got by. He did the shopping, the cooking and the washing. He read a lot, wrote poetry and when the weather warmed up, he gardened. It was a constrained life but within it, he could cope. In 2006 there were 2.7 million people on Incapacity Benefit and Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, set a target for 1 million of these people to be removed and made to work. Andrew didn’t think it would apply to him, he had been on this benefit for 35 years. He expected in a few years to pass seamlessly on to Age Pension. But the government was determined that the figures would come down. And that Andrew would be one of them.