INFLATION is above five per cent but wages are not keeping up, tragically, because this is what a tenner used to buy you:
Not a flat. An actual full-on house: both floors, a guest bedroom and a home office used to be your for ten English pounds. It might have taken you a while to scrap together your 75p deposit but you got something for your money. Nowadays it costs a tenner just to look in an estate agent’s window.
Passage to Australia
Right up until the 1970s, £10 used to pay all administrative fees for a two-month journey to Australia and full citizenship, a deal taken advantage of by most of AC/DC. Of course, when they arrived they were in a tropical paradise where land was cheap and opportunity plentiful so it wasn’t all easy.
A tenner didn’t go towards tuition fees because they didn’t exist. Instead it was your annual budget for getting pissed down the Student Union, and you’d have to be a serious 12-pints-a-night drinker to get through it before June. Give an undergraduate ten quid today and they might be able to afford a half.
In need of an emergency operation that only the most skilled of surgeons can perform? If you’re lucky enough to live in the past you can slide a tenner over to your GP’s receptionist, shoot them a cheeky wink, and sleep easy that all the expenses have been taken care of and then some. These days just arranging an appointment risks bankruptcy.
A family trip to the cinema
Not that long ago, ten pounds used to easily cover a ticket for you, your partner and your horde of fidgety kids, with enough change left over for pick ‘n’ mix and a round of Slush Puppies. Hand an usher a tenner in 2021 and they’ll have you forcibly ejected from the premises for taking the piss.