UK austerity

Austerity series, Merthyr Tydfill, Wales. Picture shows Robert Mason, 69, Ex-miner and resident of the Gornous Estate

Charlie Bibby/FT

Rob Mason started his career as a miner at the Deep Navigation Colliery near Merthyr Tydfil. Two decades after its closure, the 68-year-old still works most days stacking shelves at a local convenience store. The government’s welfare reforms could make life even tougher for Mr Mason and others in Merthyr Tydfil, where one in four of the population receives some form of benefit.