The Tory project revealed: pushing the poor further into poverty, giving billions to the rich

The New Hope Church food bank, South Shields. ‘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.’ [Image: Mark Pinder.]

The New Hope Church food bank, South Shields. ‘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.’ [Image: Mark Pinder.]

None of the information here is new (although the statistics might be); some of us have been saying this for years.

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.

Meanwhile, as a report from the Resolution Foundation points out this morning, the Conservatives have since 2010 brought in tax cut after tax cut, worth a total £32bn this year. Set that against the reduction of the benefit cap, which will inflict chaos on hundreds of thousands of the poorest to raise a measly £65m this year. Over George Osborne’s six years in No 11, corporation tax rates have been slashed. The threshold at which personal income is taxed has risen to over £10,000 and will next year hit £11,500. Under the party that once promised “vote blue, go green”, fuel duty was first cut and then frozen. These giveaways have gone largely to big business and to the rich. The rise in the personal income tax threshold was sold by Nick Clegg and David Cameron as a way of boosting the living standards of the working poor. It was actually a hugely expensive sop to the rich.

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.

Source: The Guardian view on austerity: reversing Robin Hood | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian

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7 thoughts on “The Tory project revealed: pushing the poor further into poverty, giving billions to the rich

  1. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    There are some super rich MPs in all parties and I don’t need to go into names here. It is these super rich MPs who are responsible for letting down the vast majority of people who are not nearly so fortunate. These MPs are in their party positions not to seek fair management for all but to further their own greedy interests. Sadly they also exist in Labour as we all know and it is time that a much stronger management of such people was exerted.

    One example of greed is that of the majority of landlords; many of whom have had the luck to find that their property values have increased out of all proportion to their original costs, are happy to extort unreasonable and unnecessarily high rents just out of sheer greed and lack of integrity.

    Labour needs to up its act and get a move on if there is to be any chance of reversing this dreadful situation for so many as the Conservatives will only continue to exacerbate the situation to their own advantage.

    1. Dez

      Would also be very useful to reduce this landlord situation if the Councils built more single person accommodation to actually help relieve the burden of the extra room tax and help provide for new families to live an independant life with some hope of continuity of tenancy. Had the Councils used their council house sale values to build replacement homes things might be better and the landlords would have had some economic competition. The same will happen again when the new tranche of council house sales go through the money will never be used to replenish housing stock as the Cons promised.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        The councils weren’t allowed to build replacement homes – Thatcher’s government made sure of that.

  2. NMac

    I have never understood why large numbers of working class people actually vote for the Tories, a political clique who will do them no favours at all.

    1. mrmarcpc

      Because NMac, quite a large number of the working class are thick and believe anything they’re told by the right wing press and politicians!

  3. Lin Wren

    At the end of the day Tories are up to their necks in the business of Murder by Sanctions. Pretty sick eh? THEY really do need to step back & think about their futures & what is coming

Comments are closed.