Why does George Osborne have it in for the workers?

Matters have come to a pretty pass for the Conservative Party – and so soon after the election! – if arch-Tory Fraser Nelson is prepared to shoot them down.

Not only that, but the target is potential prime ministerial candidate George Osborne. What are his hopes worth now, when he’s busily turning his entire party into a gang of hypocritical exploiters of the poor, just to save his own face?

The Chancellor has run out of good options. He must now either abandon his plans to find £12 billion of savings by targeting the working poor – or stick to his guns, and destroy the Conservatives’ claim to being the new “workers’ party”.

Like all of the worst political messes, it was created by a pile-up of accidents. Its origins were during the election campaign, when Mr Osborne said he’d find £12 billion of welfare cuts and, as a result, run a budget surplus.

The Chancellor never said where he would find such extraordinary savings, because he didn’t know. It was a ruse, a figure designed to be bargained down by Liberal Democrats in coalition talks that, then, seemed inevitable.

Osborne ended up as Chancellor in a majority Tory government, saddled with a pledge that even he had never really taken seriously. But to admit as much, he calculated, would be too embarrassing – so he got to work on the tax credit budget which subsidises low salaries. In other words, the “workers’ party” would be coming after the workers.

Taking money away from millions of working families already on the breadline has proved politically horrific. These are the people doing everything the Tories have asked of them, and can’t now understand why they are being penalised.

No moral thread runs through his plans for working tax credit cuts. For most who claim them, the £9 an hour living wage will not repair the damage. Not only does it punish the strivers, but it’s not even needed to balance the books.

He is proposing to come after those claiming Universal Credit, the Government’s flagship welfare-to-work scheme.

It was designed so no low-waged worker would pay a higher tax rate than 55 per cent. It’s a rather high rate, but as the Prime Minister put it, the beauty of Universal Credit is that this rate could be cut in future Budgets. His Chancellor, however, disagrees. The Treasury demanded that the first workers on Universal Credit would face an eye-watering effective tax rate of 65 per cent. And now, to pay for a partial retreat on tax credits, the Chancellor is planning to take this to 75 per cent – and perhaps even higher.

Such a high rate, of course, destroys the whole point of Universal Credit. The low-waged would be swapping one welfare trap for another.

How will a Tory Chancellor, with ambitions to be a Tory Prime Minister, explain why he is raising taxes on poorest workers – especially after lowering taxes for the richest?

Yet again, we can see the Chancellor’s biggest political weakness – he is so clever that he’s downright stupid.

The thrust of his reforms flies in the face of everything the Conservatives purport to stand for.

Source: Why does George Osborne have it in for the workers? – Telegraph

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11 thoughts on “Why does George Osborne have it in for the workers?

  1. Joan Edington

    When I started reading this article I was gobsmacked because it seemed that the Torygraph had printed an anti-Tory story. However, as it got to the end, I realised that was far from the truth. They just don’t like Osborne because they think he’s giving the party a bad name. You couldn’t make it up.
    However, the article did shock me with the amounts being clawed back for a minimal wage rise. It certainly wouldn’t inspire me to strive ever onwards and upwards.

  2. Roy Beiley

    To paraphrase another saying “Beware the wrath of the Tory Party scorned”. Of course his £12 million savings boast was never meant seriously. The Tories believed the LibDems would form a second coalition and failure to realise the full savings could be blamed on the softie LibDems. Now he has nowhere to turn. He was warned by his own Party that the Lord’s would defeat his cuts Bill and that it would end up damaging him politically. But he chose to ignore them and his stubbornness will be the start of his grip on the Chancerlership being challenged by his own side. The thought of that baddie IDS resigning because Osbornes plans are too severe sends signals that Osborne is now completely bonkers. He should not be allowed to run a corner shop let alone the Treasury. How long will lunatics be allowed to run the asylum?

  3. SheHasBecomeADragon (@Nanna_Baps)

    It is an old political axiom that it’s poor manners to interrupt your adversaries when they are making a huge mistake. If tax credit cuts prove to be Osborne’s undoing that is devoutly to be desired. Nevertheless, I fail to see how it can benefit anyone in the UK (outside a tawdry cabal of corporatist robbers, mostly products of the private insurance lobby) if our children go hungry, or suffer social exclusion as a result of wholly unnecessary poverty, inflicted by a government devoid of ordinary humanity, and unable to remedy the social ills it has brought about itself because it is shackled to discredited neoliberal ideology.
    As someone with disabilities, I am only too well aware what it is like to be on this regime’s hitlist. It is in nobody’s interest to suffer these fools until 2020. Many more innocents will be dead by then.

  4. Mr.Angry

    Osborne is a serious threat to our country, a bemused simpleton running the economy into total chaos whilst those on the receiving end suffer hardship hunger and destitution and death. Whilst most are sanctioned it is imperative he is sectioned for his own sake and also for ours.before it’s to late.

  5. John Gaines

    Gideon is Cameroon’s ‘THING’ I percieve that it was ‘Lurve’ at first bite, The stupid little Rat imagines that Cameroon will give him his job, he can’t understand that he will never be supported by his master nor, that Cameroon has every intention of going for a Third term, and will blame Gideon for the Tory nastiness of the previous 10 years.
    ‘Things’ are like that, besotted by Lurve.

    1. Roy Beiley

      I think you were probably correct on November 10th but today there is a poll which shows that Boris and Teresa are more popular choices to take over from Mr C than old simple simon Osborne. Lurve has a perverse way of showing itself sometimes.

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