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Tony Grist

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Trouble Ahead [Sep. 12th, 2010|12:21 pm]
Tony Grist
According to this morning's headlines George Osborne plans to knock  £2.5 billion off the sickness and disability budget. This makes me nervous. Ailz and I are dependent on disability payments.

But we're not alone. The anxiety I feel is replicated all through the economy- at every level except the very highest. Anyone who's not in Osborne's income bracket is going to be squeezed, harried and whacked around by this government's proposed programme of cuts.

Now here's something I really don't understand. The government is proposing to cut welfare at precisely the moment when thousands upon thousands of people will be turfed out onto the streets as workforces are shrunk and businesses go under. Has Osborne done his maths, or is he- as I suspect- making it up as he goes along?

I think there will be trouble. I think we're going to have civil unrest on a scale we haven't seen since the '80s. Actually it could be much worse than the 80s- because the proposed cuts are much bigger and more drastic than anything Thatcher attempted. 

The coalition government is a government of the very rich. It is made up of people who have never had to worry about their next pay-check.  They would like to destroy the Welfare State because- looking down from their unthreatened eyries- they have never seen the point of it.  Thus far they have carried the people with them because we all understand the need to do something about the deficit. This acquiescence is  about to end.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2010-09-12 11:26 am (UTC)
I'm sorry :(
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-09-12 11:53 am (UTC)
Ah well, there's a part of me that's looking forward to the battle.

I think we may well bring this government down. Perhaps within the year.
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2010-09-12 05:00 pm (UTC)
Here's hoping...
And here's hoping that Washington is watching...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-09-12 08:28 pm (UTC)
Amen to that.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2010-09-12 01:19 pm (UTC)
I have been worried about you two and how the cuts might impact your lives.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-09-12 03:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

It's hard to know what's going to happen. All these rumours are swirling round, but little has been fixed.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2010-09-12 02:18 pm (UTC)
All the news we get down here sounds quite dire.
I do hope it isn't as bad as it seems.
Do you think this might actually bring down the government?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-09-12 03:18 pm (UTC)
This government is an uneasy coalition- and it's going to be under a huge amount of pressure once it starts putting the cuts into effect. I think it could very easily break apart.
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2010-09-12 04:08 pm (UTC)
The crisis will come next month, when they reveal the results of the spending review. I think we'll know within a few days of that whether the coalition will split from the inside, or whether it's going to need people taking to the streets.

Quite agree about the millionaires, though. Just as as individuals are having their tax position assiduously "reconciled" to their disadvantage, HMRC has decided to take a "less combative" approach to disputes with big businesses, with the permanent secretary David Hartnett (everyone's favourite taxman) quoted in the FT as saying of his own department that it was "sometimes too black-and-white about the law." The upshot is that businesses that use sufficiently savvy about tax avoidance to make collection hard work are being systematically let off the hook. (For one example, see the story of Vodafone's £6 billion let-off in the last Private Eye.)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-09-12 04:20 pm (UTC)
I didn't know that.

Oh dear, that's really, really annoying.

I'm trying to gear up for the coming class war. I just wish I had more appetite for it.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2010-09-12 03:08 pm (UTC)
On the other hand, what are we to do? The country is basically like a household that has maxed out its credit cards and is struggling even to pay the minimum on its Visa bill. Either we have to earn more (from exports)as a nation, or we have to spend less; probably both. I am in no position to comment on your personal circumstances, but I think there will be a certain number of people in this country who are not working but could be. Agreed, we have to have jobs to move them into.

What's your solution to the deficit?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-09-12 03:41 pm (UTC)
I'd squeeze the millionaires until the pips squeaked.

Sorry, that's a flippant reply. I'm not an economist, but I understand that many who are view the government's programme as unnecessarily- even dangerously- savage.

Encouraging the unemployed to take jobs is fine, but are the jobs going to be there? Only yesterday we heard that BAE Systems- a big employer round these parts- will be sacking thousands. This is in anticipation of the coming defence cuts. The government doesn't want to pay benefits, but it's pursuing policies that are going to vastly increase the ranks of the unemployed. Maybe I'm missing something, but I can't see how this makes any sense.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2010-09-12 04:01 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure there are enough millionaires to be squeezed. Most of them will be paying about 40% of their take-home in tax anyway. As you know from my situation, many companies are moving lucrative jobs abroad because our rate of corporation tax is too high. That doesn't help, either. Fewer jobs = fewer people to pay tax.
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2010-09-12 04:59 pm (UTC)
That was the thinking here - that taxes on the wealthy were much too high. What the Bush and Reagan tax cuts did was create a massive deficit, and led to todays Depression. History has many lessons to teach. Everyone would be wise to read up on conditions prior to the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression of the 1930's.
"Those who forget to remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2010-09-12 04:56 pm (UTC)
Welcome to my world! It looks like the conservatives are going to take over the government here and one of the first things they will attack is my Social Security retirement fund, and also my Medicare for the aged health care. I suppose that my elderly housing subsidy will go next. I already have made a reservation for a park bench in the Boston Common. I guess if these people win then if I should become ill or disabled I would have to either get well or die quickly.
Jobs? There are none. Thousands of them, too many to count, are now being done in India or China, or even Mexico. If one is over 50 years of age and becomes unemployed, there is practically no chance that they will find a paying job.
I note that your government is also kowtowing to Big Business. How sad that free people have become enslaved by corporations! How sad, that most national income finds its way into the hands of those who do NOT need it!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-09-12 08:58 pm (UTC)
A headline in tonight's paper has the head of the Trade Union Congress threatening strikes if the Government goes ahead with its cuts.

"I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher."
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