All of the above brings me to what I want to say today. I think that we’re witnessing the start of the next Great Depression and we will need the wise counsel of the Fools more than ever. No, it’s not because the stock market has crashed (the FTSE100 is down over 2,000 points). It will be the unintentional consequence of The Big Shutdown that we’re experiencing in Europe: everyone working from home who can; flights cancelled; schools closed; hotels, pubs, clubs and restaurants shut; shops closing their doors and hoping that their online business will keep them afloat. All concerts and live performances have been cancelled. So many lives are already disrupted and it will just get worse. The British Government has stepped up for regular employees - if you are furloughed, you will get 80% of your regular salary*, paid for by a government grant - but if you are a zero hours employee or self-employed, as I write you are only entitled to the most basic of benefits (£92/week).
In all this, my thoughts turn to what we can do to help. I worry about how bad it will get and how many people will suffer. I’ve already fundraised for the local soup kitchen and the food bank**, but I want to do more. Since I am a Fool and a cook, I have decided that I will create a collection of recipes of really cheap meals, based on four principles:-
- Less than £2 for an entire meal
They will be posted here on the Blog, since it’s free to access, and possibly compiled into a PDF. That will be my big task for 2020.
* There is an upper limit in the £2,500/month.
** How is it that, in the 21st century, people are relying on soup kitchens and food banks, institutions which disappeared during the majority of the 20th century.