So does this word: No.
George Osborne has been Chancellor of the Exchequer for nearly six years. On Wednesday he will deliver his eighth budget speech. What will it say?
If you think that’s harsh, you haven’t been paying attention. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has, and this is his verdict:
Let’s have a look at some of the details. The Tories have made a big issue of the national deficit, saying they intend to deliver a balanced budget by 2020, using a combination of budget cuts (80 per cent) and tax rises (20 per cent)…
Actually, they originally said they would balance the books by 2015, using these methods, but they have blown that deadline by a country mile. So what’s the current situation?
Osborne’s target for this year is a deficit of around £73.5 billion, but it looks as though he’s going to blow that, too.
What’s his answer? More of these:
We already know that the disability benefit PIP (Personal Independence Payment) will be raided, with £1.2 billion being taken away from 640,000 as eligibility criteria are tightened for no very good reason.
And Osborne is taking £30 per week from people receiving Employment and Support Allowance in the Work-Related Activity Group. At the time of writing, a petition stating that the measure is unjust and calling on Parliament to reverse it has gained more than 71,000 signatures in just four days.
Ah, but everyone has to pay their fair share, don’t they? Has Osborne divided his cuts equally among the UK’s population?
In that case, what will Osborne do with the money?
Well, you’d think he would use it to cut the deficit, but it seems he is planning to give people paying the highest rate of Income Tax a fat tax break instead.
Oh, and then there’s a fat pay rise for MPs to consider:
So, when you cut it down to the bare essentials, it turns out that Osborne is a fan of “trickle down” economics. The theory is that, with the money concentrated at the top, it will “trickle down” to poorer people as the rich spend it. There’s just one problem:
That’s right – “trickle down” economics is based on a fallacy:
So Osborne wants to inflict more cuts on the poorest people – not to cut the national deficit, as he has been saying, but to redistribute wealth from the poor who need the money to the rich who don’t.
He will inflict misery and destitution on the many in order to add a little extra to the bank accounts of the few. So, finally, let’s look at how he and prime minister David Cameron feel about that:
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