Monday 06 April 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
One of the more important expressions that came out of the 60’s feminist and student movements is ‘the personal is political’. It’s an expression that, still, today is not widely accepted or understood, which is unfortunate because it has never been more relevant. Whether people are facing rising food prices and increased VAT, struggling to make ends meet on minimum wage, having their disability benefits stripped away or are forced to stay at home because they cannot find affordable housing and therefore independence, it’s all political. In this nation, whether people acknowledge it or not, politics is woven throughout the fabric of life.
When Osborne struck a deal with Swiss banks to protect illegal tax evaders it was entirely political and against the interests of the wider UK public. Britain lost out to what chartered accountant, Richard Murphy, described as, “the Treasury and our political leaders going out of their way to support criminality by making sure that a measure – the European Union Savings Tax Directive – that would blow tax evasion in British dependencies apart cannot now be implemented. And all, no doubt, at the behest of the City of London”.
Scotland’s private landowners, who have been described as Britain’s greediest benefit claimants, were subject to calls in 2013 for investigation to see how they avoid paying an estimated £40million in tax a year. Whilst Osborne imposed a £26,000 benefits cap on the poor your government fought against any such cap on the richest land owners in the country who receive billions in farming subsidies. Even Iain Duncan Smith’s extended family has received over a million pounds in benefits on their land.
Ed Balls has committed to restoring the 50p top rate of income tax for the wealthiest people in Britain who have enjoyed a very generous windfall from Osborne’s 5% tax cut to 45p.
Iain Duncan Smith’s is proposing to tax Disability Living Allowance, supposedly arguing that they should be increased for the poorest claimants while being subsidised with a tax on the benefits for those with higher incomes. In another slight of hand, he is not laying out any increase for poorer people, any more than benefit cuts actually make work pay, it’s all cheap chiseling at the bottom whilst protecting the benefits of the rich. There is nothing more personal than being poor and being pounded by politics.