It’s worth keeping this as a reminder of the Tory project, though.
They really don’t get it, do they?
The people who need the money are those who are struggling – not to make ends meet, but to survive in any way at all under the jackboot of Conservative Party oppression.
Those who might have to close a stable if money gets tight – or at least stop heating it… They really don’t need extra cash to burn.
As for the suggestions at the end, well… Let’s just see if Mrs May (or whoever follows her) follows up on them, shall we?
One loosely applied law for the rich. Another tightly monitored one for the poor. Next Monday, the government reduces the total amount of benefits families are allowed to claim. Using the Department for Work and Pensions’ own figures, 88,000 families with a quarter of a million children will have to manage on less money. A lot less: the average cut will be £260 a month. Sums that large spell eviction and homelessness for many. Independent experts expect the turmoil to be even greater.Not so long ago, the Conservatives vowed to end child poverty. Now they are enacting laws to create not just poverty, but generations of destitution. Nor are they alone in this project. The benefits cap was brought in by the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition. It was endorsed by Ed Miliband’s Labour party. As acting leader last year, Harriet Harman instructed Labour MPs not to oppose the reduction of the cap. Still, the fact remains that the benefit cap was a Conservative idea.
Then there is the kid-glove treatment of the super-rich, as detailed by the National Audit Office yesterday. The NAO report is not political, yet its investigation is a must-read for all those who want to get to grips with the government’s austerity project. Tax inspectors have identified potential evasion or avoidance worth £2bn among 6,500 super-rich individuals. Of those, only two individuals have been criminally investigated, with one single prosecution. Tax inspectors have identified a variety of ways in which the very wealthy game the system: from failing to declare foreign income to investing in schemes that are sold as tax dodges. The NAO points out that hundreds of millions stand to be collected from enforcing the law. It also paints a picture in which the tax inspectors are outnumbered and outgunned by the super-wealthy and their armies of advisers.
Theresa May’s promise is “a country that works for all”. Yet she has been involved in and is now in charge of an austerity project that does the opposite: pushing the poorest deeper into poverty while letting the richest off scot-free. If the prime minister wants to make good on her pledges of social justice, she has her chance in the autumn statement later this month. She can follow Labour’s suggestion of giving more money and more firepower to the tax inspectors. She can reverse the wasteful giveaway on income tax thresholds. And she can roll back the cuts to social security and public spending. Here’s her chance; let’s hope she takes it.
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