Brussels ‘sleeper’, Lord Mandy of North Greenwich, is doing the EC’s bidding again. A europhile (after the ’83 Labour manifesto, that is), he is now rubbing salt into the wound after the earlier deregulation of UK postal services which allowed private sector vultures to pick off the best postal business.
If these vultures had agreed to take on less profitable post too, neoliberals like I would have accepted the deregulation but thanks to the EC and the post vultures, we all have only one daily delivery and if we are lucky before lunchtime.
Not content with trying to make postmen walk faster (which threatens a strike THIS FRIDAY), a report to Mandy suggests a ‘strategic partnership’ with another (EU, of course) company.
This will be part-privatisation by the back door, though the consummate spinmeister denies it, and will be a complete Labour disaster that will no doubt spark long, lingering strikes that will damage Royal Mail’s reputation even more – and, worse still, demoralise further its hard-working, underpaid and excellent staff.
Mr Boom (Brown) and Mr Bust (Darling) have achieved the recession that their Labour economic policies were always going to deliver – as Merv ‘the Swerve’ and Mr Boom admitted in the last few days. Now, having created a bad situation for the country’s economic and financial position, can they perhaps ease the pain?
Alas, no. Their economic policies have very much been about government intervention – the bank bailouts, nationalisation, the ‘spend our way out of the recession’, and Keynesian (a swear word if ever there were one) spending on public works.
There is one way by which this gutless Government could ease the pain. It is quite simple. They should cut taxes.
But unfortunately that is beyond the leftwing ideologues who run the country. Their socialism has been revealed, as the only way they know how to respond to an economic downturn.
How much longer people in the UK have to suffer from Labour’s policies is anyone’s guess. Tax cuts are the only way to ease the pain, but this lot aren’t going to deliver those.
In 1997 Labour said it would eradicate child poverty. It set some targets and has failed to make significant progress on this matter.
But what is more galling, in this New Labour world, is the way that older people are treated, neglected and ignored by the Government. At least children have rights to education, and other services … what rights to older people have in this country? (unless they have been prudent – yes, that former Brownian word – enough to save for ‘a rainy day’).
As Help the Aged remind us, ageism and age discrimination is still prevalent in this country – for example, on the NHS, if you are “too old”, you can be refused treatment, and granted a death sentence (even though Capital Punishment was abolished); that is, if they don’t do you in with morphine first. Social care is being cut back by many councils as a result of the Brownian mess that is the public finances. The Help the Aged video is sadly true:
But what is a national scandal is the increase in pensioner poverty, a direct result of this Government’s policies. Barbara Willis-Brown, writing in the Stirrer, highlights how:
Here in Birmingham, we have too many pensioners living in isolation; struggling to survive on a limited income, with prices rocketing around them.
Their cars have gone, so transport and mobility are key issues; many live in fear, locking themselves away as soon as daylight fades; they cannot afford to socialise (cost, transports, perception, fear); rising costs of social care & diminishing services add pressures to the already hard-pressed.
At a time in life when they need the most help, they find there is precious little available.
Traditionally, there has long been a history of voluntary sector community support, organising trips, outings, hospital visits, befrienders etc.
Yet, due to withdrawal of funding, (Olympics 2012 springs to mind) local support groups have been hammered, as projects simply close down. So, the biggest losers continue to be the elderly – who are also the least able to cope.
As a matter of utmost urgency the government must consider the impact of all these rises on the older population.
The choice between eating and heating the home has been highlighted by Channel 4’s Dispatches already and this holocaust on older people was discussed on this blog. The Government’s inaction on the matter of pension poverty is not only immoral, but also politically inept. Since the highest turnout at General Elections is amongst over 60s, older people will have their revenge on this despicable Government.
Labour makes the “Poverty Trap” worse: it hasn’t been the party of the working class for a long time
As someone whose father worked in a low-income job, I know what effect this has on the family finances. But people who work in these jobs, when they could just as easily claim the dole or incapacity benefit, are the unsung heroes of the UK today.
Labour’s hatred of these people, who could potentially have been its staunchest supporters (and many of whom probably were in the past), is reprehensible.
Not only has Labour ratcheted up the “Poverty Trap”, where people are better off on benefits than in work, by a variety of measures including the structure of its tax credits system. But now, as BBC News reports, by abolishing the 10p income tax band, the Government:
penalises childless people in low-paid jobs. The Treasury Select Committee warned the ‘main losers’ could be deprived of as much as £232 a year. Chairman John McFall said they were an ‘unreasonable target’ for the tax simplification measure.
How many more people, whether white British or, in many cases, black and Asian, (and including a lot of women) are going to be forced into worse economic conditions and possibly out of work all together, by this discredited, despicable Government?
On a day on which, for many people, income tax falls from 22p to 20p in the pound – only to be cancelled out by the abolition of the 10p band – I would not even soil the phrase “tax cut” by using it to describe this dishonest policy by Brown and Darling.
What are needed are genuine cuts in taxation for people on low income – whether Single People, Couples without Children, or Families – to incentivise work and also to reward those who actually are working.
Tax cuts for the rest of us could wait until later, but at least can we stop penalising the people who don’t have to work but do because of a “work ethic”, or because it makes them feel as if there is meaning to their lives, or for whatever motivation.
It is also time to stop the lie that Labour is a Party for the working-class. It gave up that distinction a long time ago.
- Alistair Darling
- animal welfare
- Bank of England buffoons
- Child A
- general election
- Gordon Brown
- gun crime
- intellectual idiocy
- Jacqui Smith
- Labour Party
- Northern Ireland
- older people
- opinion polls
- public sector
- Reg Empty
- Rhys Jones
- Royal Mail
- Shannon Matthews
- social breakdown
- social services