The government’s spending review announced this week more or less confirmed what everyone outside of the Tory party (or UKIP) already knew – that the austerity measures have not helped bring down the deficit, nor has it put the country on the road to recovery, actually they’ve probably had the opposite impact.
Consequently this was something of a give away budget, the sort they’d have been criticising Gordon Brown for 4 years ago, as the Tories desperately seek to resuscitate a flat lining economy. Of course it is all too obvious that these budget giveaways are merely intended to create a small token of growth, then after the election and (god forbid 88|) if the Tories are in power again, upon which they’ll begin attacking the health & welfare budgets like an axe wielding manic. If you think the present austerity measures went too far, wait till after the election.
They also plan to cut alot of the budget by opting for that old Thatcher era favourite, privatisation of more public services. We tried that on the railways, universities, water and power companies. How did that work out…well the train service is an overpriced mess, we have the absurdity of “drought warnings” in one of Europe’s wettest countries (the French and Spanish find the mere idea of a drought in the UK highly amusing) and now there’s warnings of blackouts in future as the utilities haven’t built enough new generating capacity. Anyone care to hazard a guess what the next round of privatisation will bring?
As I’ve long been saying, the problem here is that the present Tory government is basically pursuing the very same policies they always have, right back to the days of Walpole. Namely, cut any form of welfare (paid for by taxes which they and their wealthy supporters increasingly don’t pay) that does not benefit them, even if its crucial to others on lower income. While simultaneously bashing said lower classes to keep them in place. The presentation may have changed, they might be using the excuse of “bringing down the deficit” (rather than the cold war, terrorism, miners strike excuses they used in the past) but like I said, its essentially the same stuck record at play.
More Welfare bashing
A good example of how out of touch the Tory’s are is their latest way of whipping those unfortunates out of work due to Tory austerity (such as all those soldiers they let go the other week). They want to make them wait a week before signing on. There logic is that they can use that week to try and find work and then not need to sign on.
Now if you’re a Tory millionaire cabinet member and you lose you’re job, I’m sure a week is more than enough time to toddle along to your gentleman’s club and get a new job via the good ol boys network. But for the rest of us in the real world its a little different.
These days getting a job does take a good few weeks (or months, and that’s if you’re lucky enough to find one!), when you factor in applying for one, waiting for the closing date, interviews, getting you’re application processed by HR, etc. While there are some casual jobs available more quickly (working in shops or bars sorts of thing) those jobs tend to be less well paid and more often than not part time, which is hardly much good for someone with a family to support i.e. the very people who are living pay cheque to pay cheque and cannot afford to be without an income for an extended period.
These days there is a considerable amount of red tape that the Tories have thrown at the unemployed, which involves endless form filling and attending interviews at the Job’s Centre, plus various mind numbing “presentations“ (the point of which seem to be to reinforce the Tory message that you are scum for allowing yourself to become unemployed…just what you need to build up one’s confidence before going for an interview!).
Consequently, many often opt to get all this paper work out of the way first, then start looking for work as this ensures that none of these Tory vanity schemes will clash with a potential interview date and you can get you’re dole money sorted out so that’s one less thing to worry about while focusing on the job search. This is particularly important to people such myself and others from EU countries, as our benefits entitlements are often not universally guaranteed. Thus if you become unemployed for any reason you have to sign on ASAP (even if you’re not planning on claiming unemployment benefit, you just want to keep you’re stamps up to date).
So in essence the likely consequence of this Tory plan is that it will actually delay by a week people’s job hunting efforts, and subject many families on the breadline to unnecessary hardship and cruelty. Where is the ivory tower that these guys live in and when do we get to knock it down?…oh ya on the 7th of May 2015! ;D