This chapter focuses on tensions between state, market and family relations in the neo-liberal UK in the period of austerity following the financial crisis of 2008. It highlights how austerity policies are being pursued as part of a wider agenda of reducing the scale of public expenditure to levels that preceded the development of the welfare state and yet have been widely accepted as necessary even though they have failed to reduce public debt and have been experienced unevenly by gender, social class and parental status. It then draws on two empirical studies to illustrate how tensions between these macro-level relations and policies are experienced and resolved in everyday life but in different ways depending on social position, focusing mainly on gender, social class and migrant status. It concludes by making reference to an alternative approach to austerity at the macro level that would not only better enable everyone, including lone parents, manage work and caring more effectively but also benefit the economy more widely by raising employment levels and narrowing the gender employment gap.