Tag Archives: tax cut

Sunak and Truss: Tory PM contenders squabble while critics attack them both

Squabbling: Sunak and Truss.

This Tory leadership contest is like watching children squabbling over a toy.

Neither Rishi Sunak nor Liz Truss have any decent ideas to improve the quality of life in the United Kingdom, so all we are seeing in the end is the pair of them plumbing the depths in accusing each other.

Sunak’s latest attack on Truss is a claim that, if she doesn’t choose to offer either an unfunded £50 billion of tax cuts – mostly for the rich – and cost of living support (mostly for the poor), she will plunge the UK into an “inflation spiral”.

But his own economic policies are already sending UK inflation rocketing: US bank Citi has predicted it will reach 18 per cent – nine times the Bank of England’s target – in 2023.

That’s because of soaring energy prices – but Sunak’s policies are to blame for the effect they’re having on UK households because neither he nor any of the Tory chancellors since 2010 bothered to invest in UK-based green energy generation; they left us at the mercy of foreign fossil fuel bosses.

Meanwhile, it seems both candidates are committing political suicide by ignoring the interests of the Tories’ natural constituency: pensioners.

Propertied and pensioned people aged over 65 tend to vote for the Conservatives because they want to protect the investments and savings they have earned over the decades. Most Tory Party members are over 60.

But according to Dame Esther Rantzen, older people are facing “victimisation” due to current government policies, with the needs of senior citizens “totally ignored”.

She said both candidates should commit to creating a post for a minister for older people – but that seems a forlorn hope.

Neither Sunak, 42, nor Truss, 47, seem to have anything to say about older people.

And the independent Office for Budget Responsibility has warned that Truss is planning an emergency budget, if she is elected Tory leader (and prime minister by default), without an official economic forecast, even though one is ready and may be used.

Supporters of Sunak say she is trying to avoid scrutiny.

It seems that the policies being offered up by either candidate are no better than a dog’s dinner. We should all be living in fear for the future, no matter which of them gets into 10 Downing Street.

Source: Truss poised to plunge UK economy into ‘inflation spiral’, says Sunak

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Don’t believe Cameron’s claims; there is no need for austerity – and there never was

Flinging around the bling: Someone should have told David Cameron that he shouldn't surround himself with gold when he's rubbing the proles' noses in unlimited austerity. The horse impression may also have been ill-judged.

Flinging around the bling: Someone should have told David Cameron that he shouldn’t surround himself with gold when he’s rubbing the proles’ noses in unlimited austerity. The horse impression may also have been ill-judged.

David Cameron must think we are a nation of fools.

He came into office by the back door after failing to convince a majority of British citizens that his pal Gideon’s George’s plan to starve the economy of money would magically refill the Treasury’s empty coffers. Three and a half years of relentless pro-Tory propaganda from the tabloids later, and he tells us – at an opulent banquet, no less! – that austerity is here to stay.

Isn’t that because his policies have been a disaster, then?

Yes. But a disaster for us, not him or his bankster/financier/corporate masters.

As this blog stated more than a year ago, “people need to understand that the Coalition government’s fiscal strategy isn’t about reducing the national deficit at all. If it was, we would not have had a big tax break for the richest in society as part of the last budget. It’s a strategy to axe public services, selling off to rich corporations any that might be capable of yielding a profit. George W Bush followed this policy in the United States a few years ago; it’s called ‘starving the beast’.”

Look this up on Wikipedia and you will find that it involves cutting taxes in order to deprive the government of revenue in a deliberate effort to force reduced spending. In the USA, we are told, “the short- and medium-term effect of the strategy has dramatically increased the United States’ public debt rather than reduce spending”.

Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson’s tax-cutting plan was expected to be funded by lower government spending on social security and healthcare – and it is important that people here in the UK should see the similarities between that and the Coalition government’s privatisation of the National Health Service (we’re told the NHS is a registered company now), along with its many attacks on people who claim social security benefits.

We’ve had tax cuts for the very rich – the so-called “millionaire’s tax cut” that brought the top rate of Income Tax down from 50 per cent to 45 per cent. Corporation Tax is coming down from 28 per cent to 21 per cent while the corporations that write UK tax policy are using it to facilitate tax avoidance schemes. And the poorest workers in the country are being fooled into believing they are getting a good deal out of the policy of raising the tax threshold to £10,000 per year.

Let’s look at that. Nick Clegg wants to raise it still further, so that nobody is taxed on earnings below £10,500 per year, but this means the Treasury will be starved of £1 billion. That’s a lot of money. Meanwhile, the deficit – and the debt – keeps rising.

We’ve had almost no change in the national deficit, year on year. Michael Meacher’s latest blog entry tells us, “the UK debt overhang is growing, not reducing… the budget deficit is not going down appreciably either. In 2011 it was £118bn and in 2012 this had hardly fallen at all at £115bn. The 40% cut in public spending budgets and the £18bn cut in benefits and hence in consumer demand, plus the £40bn further intended cuts after 2015, has produced searing pain, yet next to [no] improvement in the national accounts which was supposed to be the whole aim of the exercise.”

It is also important to note that the effect of raising the tax threshold for poorer people has been completely negated by other changes in government benefits for people on low incomes, unemployment or incapacity support; in fact they are worse off.

It is against that background – tax cuts for the very rich and the corporates, “searing” pain for the poor and worsening national debt – that David Cameron announced, at the gold-trimmed Lord Mayor’s Banquet, “We are sticking to the task. But that doesn’t just mean making difficult decisions on public spending… it means building a leaner, more efficient state. We need to do more with less. Not just now, but permanently.”

At last he has admitted the point of the last three and a half pointless years. He has been starving the Treasury of the cash it needs to balance the books, and now he feels able to tell us that it isn’t going to happen unless public services are cut drastically.

He must be so happy.

Presumably he hasn’t realised that he has just told the British public that his policies, those of his political party and the Coalition of which it is a part, have been an abject disaster for the people of the United Kingdom.

He promised that he would get the deficit down; he failed.

He promised that the measures he took would be applied equally to everyone, from the highest-earners to the lowest; they weren’t.

Now he has promised to build a leaner, more efficient state, using examples from education and health, whose funding has been ring-fenced throughout his period in office; he is lying.

It is time, now, for serious-minded people to draw a line below the selfish policies of the last 30 years and start thinking about government for all the people once again.

When governments talk about making cuts, they’re not talking about help for the rich. Social or economic programmes, supported by taxes, are only ever put in place to level a playing field that would otherwise be tilted against the poor or disadvantaged. Removing such programmes means a less equal society; one that is more UNfair.

Remember that when Cameron and his cronies – especially people like Iain Duncan Smith and Esther McVey – talk about making Britain a fairer place to live and work.

Their words carry about as much weight as their leader’s 2010 election promises.