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Bob Morgan

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Of Course We Are Not All In This Together!

Posted: 30/08/2012 16:51

Mr Cameron said they are going about the cuts in a way that is 'open, responsible and fair' whilst Mr Osborne has said that cuts to the deficit must be based on the belief that 'we are all in this together'
If the cuts and other measures are going to be fair then we might expect that they would affect everyone equally. Or if there was any unfairness you might think it would impact upon those most able to bear it - the richest people - rather than those who have the least.
So why is it the poorest in our society who are bearing the brunt of cuts and it is the richest in our society who are getting even richer off the back of quantitative easing - the only methods the Government is using to try to address the financial crisis.
It turns out that the cuts in Government money given to local authorities impacts most on people in the poorest areas and least on those in wealthier areas.
The Joseph Rowntree Trust looked at the effects of the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review on twenty five local authorities and found that because of where in the budget cuts were being made, it led to greater cuts to the spending power of local authorities in poorer areas like parts of Liverpool and London than in richer areas of the country like Wokingham and Richmond upon Thames.
This means it is people in these poor areas - who rely more on Council support than those in the richer areas - who will suffer most.
Wealthier people will continue to get most of the services they rely on - waste disposal and repairs to their roads whilst the support to those that need it most will be cut - cuts to youth services and to victims of domestic violence.
Meanwhile a Bank of England report has revealed that quantative-easing (producing electronic money to boost the economy) or QE, has increased the wealth of the richest families by anything from £128,000 to £322,000 depending on what 'model' they use. The report says that 40% of gains went to the richest 5%!
If we accept that cuts have to be made and accept that QE has been an important way of preventing an even worse recession then we are still left with this built in unfairness. Even this would be acceptable if it was allowed for come the next round of cuts - if cuts to services of poor people were not so severe to allow for this built in disadvantage.
Of course it won't be allowed for - we will soon hear more stories of poor people ripping off the benefits system and then announcements about more cuts to benefits with no allowance for the dreadful lack of fairness and balance in the system.
Meanwhile it is poor people who experience the poorest health and live shorter lives - even without cuts - and who bear the brunt of measures made necessary by the greed of the richest. So what's new - buts lets at least give this some thought before we all pile in on the 'benefit cheats' again.
The poor people did not cause the recession - it was greedy rich people trying to get even richer by inventing worthless financial instruments made out a bad debt because they oversold mortgages in a reckless fashion the first place. It is the people who were rescued by the tax payers because they failed, and who are still paying themselves large bonuses, who are to blame.
We need a large and successful private sector to help make everyone wealthier; we need people to succeed in business and make good money - but we don't need it to be so unfair and for some people to have all the advantages and then get more advantages simply because that's the way the system works. Being rich does not make you a bad person nor - does being poor - but it is hard to see that sometimes.
A society works better if everyone is seen as being in together and that there is real fairness but there is little sign of that occurring just because politicians are saying the words.

 
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