Hello and hi. When I first heard the term ‘JAMS’, I must admit-it got my attention. I am a bit of a dab hand (expert) in the kitchen…and I make jam too. But I do not make cakes, muffins or bread. But I know how to eat them. But, I digress. The term: JAM is the new UK government acronym for: Just About Managing. Good grief, it sounds pretty dire. Guess what? It is.
You see back in July when our new PM Theresa May gave her first speech as Prime Minister, she pledged to help the people on this not so small island-who were ‘just managing their financial affairs’..err…am not sure if she pledged to help them, she is Conservative after all. But in her reference-she was basically acknowledging their plight. *Slowclap.* Then in the Autumn statement by our Chancellor Phillip, he targeted those same people in his speech. In brief, he was speaking to those people (and there are loads) who just about managed to pay their bills. Just.About.Manage. And then an acronym was born. Yes, yes it was. Another way to look at this term is this-it refers to people without a huge amount of disposable income. In short, they are just about managing to pay their bills at the end of the month. There is no money left over. There is no money left over to buy a pair of Mulberry boots. No, there is not.
In my opinion, it is a silly acronym for a serious concept. But the term, JAMS actually has some parallels with previous Labour and Conservative government words/terminology, in which were meant to define families who are stuggling financially. A while back George Osborne talked about “hard-working families” -and then there was ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband who preferred the term “squeezed middle.” I could go on, but I think you get the point. Really now, just call it what it is-enough with these acronyms and vague references to muffin tops or squeezing into skinny jeans. Come.On.
History of Jams
‘Jams’ are not a new concept. Poor people-or those managing to pay their household bills have been around since before the dinosaurs. Ok, slight exaggeration. But when the Conservatives came to power in 2010-there had been a growing concern in the Government about ‘these’ types of people. And it was these people, who were barely managing, who were the ones who were feeling the cold hands of austerity-simply based on their socio-economic status, as they were: just managing.
But when our Cameron and Osborne referred in vague terms to ‘jams’ there was precious little in the way of legislation that suggested that Government policy actually had their interests at heart. The government didn’t seem to care much about these people. It was a bitter pill to swallow. Plus, both Cameron and Osborne had the privilege of public school backgrounds (Cameron went to Eton and Osborne attended St Pauls). Am assuming both attended Oxbridge. Respect. Please know that I am not disparaging public school backgrounds but some people do. Not me. So, the people thought that since these illustrious men went to fancy public schools, that they did not give a toss about regular people. Maybe they are right or maybe they are wrong. Or maybe they are JAMS.
But, when our Theresa May arrived-there was a ray of hope. She acknowledged the JAMS, the JAMS who struggled to pay their bills and mortgages. And the (working class) people felt nice and good that they had been acknowledged by the new Prime Minister.
So, there you go. You are now familiar with the term: JAMS. What is the answer? I don’t know. Neither does the Government. Oh dear, we are in for a bumpy ride. Yes, yes, we are. That is all.