||[Sep. 12th, 2010|12:21 pm]
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.
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?
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.
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.
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."