Friday, 6 July 2018

Austerity still ticking Tory boxes

Brexit has, as Helen Lewis rightly says, "poisoned our politics", but, sadly, it hasn`t led to the Tory party "immolating everything it supposedly stood for" (Out of the Ordinary, 29th June, 2018). Austerity, despite its subservience to the need to "buy off" the DUP, is still being used as the excuse to shrink the state. Even when Theresa May wants us to believe in Tory generosity and compassion because she is allowing a £20m cash injection for the NHS, her mendacity does not end with the "Brexit dividend". Apparently, it led to Hammond telling cabinet "colleagues" that extra funding for all other departments was now out of the question. But £20bn extra for any public service does not mean that the same amount has to be raised by additional borrowing or taxation.
             That £20bn will go into generating extra economic activity, and by creating more jobs, increasing incomes, and paying contractors, tax revenue of the government will increase. The current average amount of tax received by the government is, according to economists, 35% of GDP, which means the government actually only needs approximately an extra £13bn. When the so-called multiplier effect is taken into consideration, that figure is even further reduced, with people`s increased spending adding more in taxation to the Treasury`s coffers.
       This is hardly rocket science, but governments fail to inform the electorate of the true figures, fearing damage to their reputation for benevolence. Our Brexit-besotted media might be suffering from austerity-amnesia, but the Tories` belief in austerity most certainly has not been sacrificed! Brexit grabs the headlines, but privatisation, landlordism, de-regulation, academisation, selection and CEO pay ratios of 130:1 are all far from suffering immolation; they, along with austerity, are still ticking Tory boxes.

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