According to Simon Wren-Lewis, he often hears people suggesting that the austerity we all underwent between 2010 and this year under the Coalition Government was “largely painless”.
Seriously! Check it out here.
He points out – rather too gently, in This Writer’s opinion – that this may be a mistaken view, for two reasons:
“First you can cut investment, which no one notices until much later (unless you are unlucky enough to have a lot of rain).
“Second, you can cut spending on groups who do not have a public voice. Those who find they are excluded or reassessed for benefits, or the elderly who have had their support from their local authority cut, would not call past austerity painless.
“It seems that painlessness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.”
Or indeed, in the senses of the people feeling the pain.
A commenter to This Blog recently suggested that government has decided the loss of a certain number of civilians is perfectly acceptable in the pursuit of certain policies – most clearly war, but it can also be applied to public spending.
This Blog has reported on the deaths of benefit claimants for years. How much traction has it gained in the national press? A little splash over the summer – and that was thanks to a petition launched by someone else.
The victims have no voice and the perpetrators feel no pain.
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