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'For the privileged few': George Osborne.

‘For the privileged few’: George Osborne.

Of course, he didn’t say so in quite as many words, but that’s what he meant.

Perhaps you need to be convinced?

Okay. According to the BBC, he said in his conference speech today (Monday) that a future Conservative government would freeze benefits paid to people of working age for two years, in order to “save” £3 billion.

This is important because he reckons “an extra £25bn of permanent savings would be needed to eliminate the UK’s deficit”.

“The £3 billion saving is part of £12 billion in welfare reductions previously floated by the chancellor. He also said there would be £13 billion of Whitehall savings, which will include public sector pay restraint.”

How wrong-in-the-head can one man be?

In the same speech as he announced a huge pensions payout to 320,000 people lucky enough to have a relative rich enough to create a large pension pot and unfortunate enough to have died before spending it all, he said he would be continuing to victimise no less than 10 million households, more than half of which are working (the report said half the households affected by the benefit freeze are working, and those affected by public sector pay restraint are, by definition, working).

These are the people who should be building up the economy, and instead, this monumental ignoramus is crushing them down.

The giveaway is the language being used: Osborne reckons the Treasury has to make “savings”.

What he really means is that he thinks the Treasury needs an extra £25 billion per year in order to clear the deficit. Let’s not debate whether his calculations are wrong. They probably are – after all, he has been wrong every year since he took over as Chancellor, why should things be any different now?

Even if he is right about the sum of money involved, he’s looking at the situation the wrong way. If the Treasury needs an extra £25 billion, then why not build up the economy to provide that money?

This would mean telling businesses that working people should be paid a Living – instead of starvation – Wage, providing them with enough money to buy the things they need, rather than depending on benefits. This money would build up the businesses it is paid into, meaning they would require more employees, boosting the taxpaying workforce and the tax take.

We know that the money is available to do this because our business leaders are banking an estimated £120 billion offshore every year, so arguments that they can’t make ends meet just won’t work.

Alas, it seems this plan is nothing but a forlorn hope. Osborne won’t try to build the economy. He’s been too busy shrinking it over the last four and a half long years.

And he’ll never clamp down on tax avoidance schemes for the very rich.

After all, didn’t he devise some of them?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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