Britain is bracing itself for a Winter of Discontent after the middle class last night balloted its members over industrial action to protest at the scrapping of child benefit for higher-rate taxpayers. A ‘yes’ vote could see mass walkouts by middle-class families as early as November, with experts warning such a move could cripple vital public services such as Parent Teacher Association fetes and the continued administration of the Home Counties dinner party circuit.
‘I wasn’t at all bothered by the spending cuts before, but now I’m completely behind the ‘No to the Cuts’ campaign,’ said Matthew Singleton, a chartered accountant from Surrey. ‘We were going to have a fortnight in Florida over Christmas, but now it looks as if we’ll only be able to stretch to 10 days. We may even have to downsize my wife’s car from a Mercedes to a VW. The Tories say they’re pro-family, but try telling that to my little Anton and Tamara when they roll up at prep school in a second-rate German MPV.’
All across the UK solicitors and dentists are preparing to take to the streets and send a clear message to the government by foregoing their weekend games of squash at the sports club. ‘I would have gone on strike during the week,’ said Jasmine Egerton, a creative consultant from Hertfordshire, ‘but that would have been cutting off my nose to spite my face. I can make my point more effectively by withdrawing my daughter from piano lessons at the weekend and insisting she works to rule with her tennis coach.’
The planned protests have even attracted support from celebrity families who will themselves be hit by the cuts. ‘We was thinking about moving back to England,’ tweeted David Beckham yesterday. ‘With all our kids we’d have done quite nicely from child benefit, but now it’s been scrapped I don’t think we’ll bother.’
But for many middle-class families, the cuts have left them feeling conflicted. ‘I understand that we’re better off than some people, but couldn’t they cut other public spending first? It just makes me sick to see so much waste in the system. I mean, the fact that my nanny gets working tax credit on top of her minimum wage is just scandalous. I’ve a good mind to sell her back to those Liberian traffickers.’