“What we’re putting forward is the most radical reform of the welfare state… for 60 years. I think it will have a transformative effect in making sure that everyone is better off in work and better off working rather than on benefits.” – David Cameron, 2010
Today George Osborne gave his spending review. The main story is that he has committed a dramatic “U-turn” on cutting tax credits for poor working families, to much celebration from some Tories and the majority of the left as a victory. Which it was to some degree.
But lets just get one thing straight here before I continue. This isn’t a “U-Turn”. The about face actually happened straight after the election, when despite pre-electoral promises by David Cameron that tax credits wouldn’t be touched, he and Osborne went straight ahead and announced they would, low and behold, be implementing tax credit cuts.
They lied and re-engaged on an election promise, much like they did on many of their 2010 election promises.
The announcement today is just going ahead with what they promised not to do, and only I might add, after fierce opposition from all corners of the political spectrum. Its not something that Osborne deserves a clap on the back for.
I to my chagrin voted Tory in 2010, swayed by bringing the welfare budget down and under control, and with promises of making work pay, rather than a life on benefits.
To their credit the Tories have been effective in what those who voted for them in 2010 gave them a mandate to do. But we are surely hitting the cap on what is now effective in terms of benefit cuts.
There will always be people that genuinely rely on welfare for reasons beyond their control, be it support for those that cannot work at all for health reasons, or, as the tax credits are designed to do, to give a helping hand to those that want to work but current wages can’t keep them out of poverty.
To even consider cutting essential financial help for those people that are prepared to get off their backsides and work is a step too far.
In my opinion it would be a step backwards that disincentives working and again makes benefits an attractive option. We would be back to square one.
So its fair to say I’m fiercely opposed to these cuts.
The argument for those in favour of the cuts is normally that the tax payer is essentially subsidising businesses to pay people a lower wage, and the cuts would force them to increase peoples pay.
Utter tripe. We are talking about some of the lowest paid people in the work force, a huge majority doing low skilled labour. Businesses do not substantially increase wages when there is an easily accessible glut of cheap labour for the jobs they employ. Why increase wages when you can just employ someone else to the job cheaper?
And one thing we have in abundance in this country is cheap low skilled labour, in no small part thanks to the open door immigration policy we have to employ by being part of the EU.
In my opinion to get people currently in lower pay brackets increased wages, you either help them through retraining or education, so they can do a higher skilled job, or you can stop the flow of labour that is causing wage depression,
I’m very disappointed indeed that the only MP of my chosen party, Douglas Carswell actually voted in favour of the cuts, and didn’t seize on UKIPs line of immigration forcing down wages, which the need for tax credits is a prime example of.
Whilst on the subject of UKIP the second part of the review I would like to discuss is something tweeted by Mark Reckless.
To clarify this tweet I’m also going to quote from his web post:
“Despite the Chancellor’s claims today, from next year the Government will be cutting spending on the Home Office, including the police, from £11.2 billion next year to £11.0 billion in 2018/19, a substantial cut in real terms.
Meanwhile, spending on International Development this year, now estimated at £11.1 billion, up 11% from the £10 billion projected as recently as July, will be more than the government’s spending on the Home Office for the first time ever. By 2019/20 the Government’s spending on International Development at £14.1 billion will be more than a quarter higher than the £11.0 billion it will spend on the Home Office.” – Mark Reckless
So there we have it. We don’t have enough money to help the working poor, we have to cut back on home office services such as police, border immigration control, surveillance and security services in the wake of some of the largest terrorist threats the west have ever faced. But yet are able to find even more money to send overseas.
Sending money abroad before getting things right here at home isn’t compassion, its stupidity, and I, and many others are getting sick and tired of it.