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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.

[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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