I used to go into a sweet shop run by a slight mad, exceedingly grey old woman called Theresa. At that time penny chews cost a penny. That was, oh…ten years or so ago now. By sheer chance I was on that old street again today and there was that sweet shop, with remarkably, still the same shabby grey woman called Theresa behind the counter. She explained that although the “penny chews” were now 5 pence each, they were in fact the same price but that it was my expectation that of what the penny in my pocket would buy that had risen and that she had had to keep pace with that by re-pricing the “penny chew” in line with public expectations. However, in reality, she continued, because the amount of income tax I paid had fallen over that time and the benefits I was entitled to claim had risen, in relative terms my “penny chew” now really only cost the equivalent of half-a-penny and therefore I was getting twice as much chew for my penny. Her mouth twisted a little and one eye closed a little more than the other as she said this.

I said bollocks you mad old bastard and went to live in Denmark.

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