Austerity is economic warfare on the poor

14_march_2016A letter a day to number 10. No 1,371

Monday 14 March 2016.

Dear Mr Cameron,

It seems George Osborne’s economic calculations have been thrown off because of ‘lower than anticipated tax receipts’.

With public sector pay being restricted to a 1% rise and with more cuts planned which will target poor, sick and disabled people, it is hardly surprising that tax receipts are falling.

The Equality Trust found that ‘the majority of the UK population (66 per cent) hold no positive financial assets at all’, that means that up to 42 million people are spending close to or 100% of their income on living with little or no hope of saving. Any loss of income means less to spend and less in tax returns. Austerity, what Paul Krugman calls ‘the austerity delusion’, is counter productive, if Osborne wants growth then what Britain needs is investment in growth which includes income: stimulation not attrition.

It is impossible that Osborne does not know this, austerity has always been ideological, serving an agenda of shrinking the state and the transfer of the nations wealth to the private sector.

Financial journalist Sarah Coles reported in 2014 the annual income from hidden taxes, VAT – £102 billion, fuel duties – £27.3 billion, alcohol duties – £10.6 billion, tobacco – £9.8 billion, stamp duty – £6.4 billion and car tax – £5.9 billion. On top of which National Insurance raises £105 billion a year.  Austerity shrinks all of these, it literally bites the hand that feeds the nation in infrastructure, front line services, the NHS, social security, schools, local authorities, care services, you name it.

Austerity drives poverty, small wonder Iain Duncan Smith wants to rewrite poverty given that upwards of 20 million people are currently living in poverty. But then, that’s the Tory way, bury the harm you are causing by cooking the books and pretend it doesn’t exist.

Austerity is economic warfare being waged against and disproportionately affecting the poorest and most vulnerable people in the UK. No matter how Osborne spins it, this is a brutal war on the poor.

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