By popular demand I now present you with a wonderful Youtube clip a must see:
Millions of people unemployed or under-employed, homelessness numbers increasing, child poverty levels rocketing, pay cuts for most workers, childcare costs soaring, fuel and food prices outstripping inflation figure, housing costs becoming more unaffordable…..and what does this Govt do about it ? It gives us 1p off a £3+ pint of beer and cuts the tax on Bingo Hall owners !!!
And you want to vote for this bunch of….?
Chancellor George Osborne’s budget on Wednesday confirmed that the ruthless Con-Dem assault on the poor, the low paid, the unemployed, the sick and the disabled not only continues but will escalate.
There will be no reversal of the austerity drive against public services, welfare benefits and the employment terms and conditions of public-sector workers.
Because, as last weekend’s Scottish labour conference recognised, austerity is indeed working – for the rich and big business. It was never intended primarily to reduce the state’s financial deficit. If it were, City of London bankers and other speculators would be punishing Osborne for his spectacular failure.
In his contrived “emergency” budget of June 2010, the Chancellor had boasted that annual government borrowing would be reduced to £60bn (or 3.5 per cent of GDP) by this year. In reality, it is now £108bn (6.6 per cent of Britain’s economic output).
The national debt would reach 70 per cent of GDP and begin to decline. It currently stands at 75 per cent and is rising not falling.
Osborne has little or no hope of eliminating the deficit in 2018 as planned (but orginally set for 2015), without even deeper cuts in public spending, probably combined with further rises in regressive taxation such as VAT and excise duties.
Astonishingly, the Labour “opposition” wants such a cap – albeit set at a higher level – to include the state retirement pension, so that it can be under the cosh as well.
How the cap will be used to clobber various unemployment, disability, maternity and other payments will doubtless be unveiled in another “emergency” Budget after the 2015 general election.
In the meantime, Osborne will pretend to be “upset” that the news headlines concentrate more on his tax relief for bingo, beer and cider than on his strategic genius.
No, the City is pleased with this latest budget. All those donations to the Conservative Party represent money well spent.
The austerity strategy is delivering lower taxes on the rich and big business, more loot for the banks in the shape of “quantitative easing,” weaker bargaining power on the part of organised labour and the privatisation of public services including Royal Mail, probation services and, in England at least, the NHS and secondary education.
The overall result has been a substantial depression in real wages (by an unprecedented 9 per cent since the coalition seized office) and – for most monopolies in most sectors of the economy – the maintenance or expansion of profits.
All the talk about banking reforms, tighter regulation and clampdowns on corporate tax avoidance and bonuses has been just so much hot air.
As usual, the main winners in this budget are big business and the super-rich.
A fresh series of tax relief measures will enable manufacturing and energy corporations and the property developers to boost their profits still further. Cuts in corporation tax and final abolition of the top rate of income tax will proceed as planned.
Just as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is about to publish its most alarming findings so far, the Chancellor proposes to scrap the “escalator” increase in tax on companies with high carbon emissions.
While some of the world’s most eminent scientists warn that higher temperatures, more floods and wilder weather will chop crop yields, spread water and air borne diseases and displace millions more people, Osborne does Prime Minister Cameron’s bidding to “get rid of all the green crap.”
Interestingly, the Chancellor subsequently blamed the EU emissions trading system for placing British firms at a disadvantage, thereby requiring his tax relief. That the ETS is a racket, giving EU monopolies a licence to speculate while buying pollution rights from the Third World, was evident from its introduction in 2005.
Predictably, with next year’s general election looming ever larger, Wednesday’s Budget contained some sweeteners for the electorate. These include a higher starting threshold for income tax – due to kick in on the eve of polling day on May 7 – and a package of state subsidies for childcare.
Reforms and tax concessions relating to personal savings will, by definition, benefit only those people who can afford to save up to £15,000 a year.
Crucially, many of these will be key electors in constituencies where the electoral struggle will be between the Tories, Lib Dems and Ukip.
The Help to Buy scheme which subsidises buyers of new houses and guarantees repayments to their mortgage lenders is being extended for four years beyond 2016, even though the consequences might well be a housing price bubble followed by a slump and negative equity.
The Treasury reckons the scheme will stimulate the construction of 120,000 new private-sector houses over the whole period.
Yet Britain needs 250,000 new homes to be completed every single year. Most of those have to be affordable for people on low and middle incomes.
So far, the government has pledged to ensure that just 150,000 of these are built throughout the whole current parliamentary term.
Public spending on new council and social housing has been cut since 2010 by at least half or almost £2bn a year even with the New Homes Bonus, while tenants face higher rents to make up some of the shortfall.
Incredibly, the government is placing its faith and public money in property developers and the private rented sector, for example through the £1bn Build to Rent fund.
In response to the Budget, some of Labour’s anti-toff rhetoric has been magnificent but it is not class war.
It needs to be translated into policies. At the moment, the Shadow Cabinet is committed to maintaining the public sector pay freeze, abiding by Tory-Lib Dem spending plans for one year after the general election and sticking to a welfare spending cap for the entire parliamentary term.
This will not set the voters on fire to ensure a Labour victory at the polls. But it underlines the need to build the Labour party into a powerful mass movement against austerity and privatisation. In alliance with the trade unions, it will be needed as much after May 2015 as it is today.
In the meantime, there is vital work to do, persuading people across Britain that austerity is not necessary and that there is an alternative, embodied in the policies of the Labour party and the will of the peoples power to come out to vote Labour.
Well many of you may have read in all the right wing rags that Boris Johnson will or being encouraged stand as Member of Parliament. Some say it’s a gimmick to boost the Conservatives who knows what’s taking place only the man himself and he is keeping it close to his chest.
Could Boris Johnson be the next leader of the Conservatives and the LibDems are in panic mode as they know full well that their days are over. I’m sure many Conservatives both publicly and privately would enjoy the return of Boris as that would put a real dent to George Osborne, and Teresa May campaign for leadership challenge to David Cameron as he is not popular with his party.
David Cameron takes the view it’s better to keep your friends close and to keep your enemies closer to your chest. I’m sure many would have read and watched the budget most of the budget is geared up to sure up the Conservative votes which would have gone to UKIP which I have to say nice gimmick to try win back their voters.
For this reason the LibDems are looking to Labour for a sweetheart deal. However there are many on my side of Labour Party will feel betrayed if and when a deal takes place with the LibDems and many have said both publicly and privately not in our name although it’s still early days yet.
Douglas Alexander is correct in saying He said he was “working and planning for a majority Labour government”.
Mr Alexander, who is directing the party’s election strategy, spoke at the Scottish Labour conference in Perth.
In an interview last month, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg talked openly about the possibility of a coalition between his party and Labour, saying the latter had “changed”.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said he was not “interested” in discussing the possibility of a coalition. Mr Alexander told the conference on Saturday the 2015 election was “quintessentially winnable” for Labour.
He continued: “The Liberal Democrats want to pretend that they are the internal opposition to the Conservatives – they’re not the internal opposition, they are the enablers of the Conservatives.
“The reason David Cameron is sitting in Downing Street is because Nick Clegg is sitting next to him at the cabinet table.
“It was Nick Clegg, Malcolm Bruce, Robert Smith, Danny Alexander, all the rest of them, they voted for the bedroom tax, voted to triple tuition fees, and have got it wrong on the economy month after month after month. We need to hold them to account for that.
“In that sense anybody who suggests we should try and have a coalition with them, it’s nonsense.”
The shadow foreign secretary said Labour would “build momentum” for the election from this September’s referendum on Scottish independence, adding: “We will deliver a majority Labour government.”
He said the Tories were “in wholesale retreat across the United Kingdom”, with only one MP in Scotland and no elected councillors in Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield or Newcastle.
He added that “the cost of living crisis” would be the “beating heart of our campaign” and “the defining question of the general election.”
Which leads to another subject matter Lord Tebbit has called on the government to investigate if people using food banks are in fact spending their money on junk food.
Speaking in the House of Lords on Thursday night, the Conservative peer dismissed the growth of food banks, saying “there is always a near-infinite demand for valuable goods that are given away free”.
“One can notice it even in the catering departments of this building,” Tebbit continued. “If food is given away at prices grossly below market value, more is used. Would my noble friend initiate some research into the sales of junk food in the areas where people are relying for their basic foods on food banks?”
Earlier in the debate, Lord de Mauley, the Tory environment minister, told the chamber that he did not believe the government should get involved in the growth of food banks. “Britain has a great tradition of charitable giving, and it would be a bad day on which we started to interfere with that,” he said, drawing gasps from several peers.
He rejected Tebbit’s request for an investigation into junk food purchases in the areas where food banks are growing.
Tebbit’s comments echo those of Lord Freud, the millionaire Tory minister, who in July last year told the House of Lords that there is no evidence that the growth of food banks is linked to growing poverty and hunger – merely that people wish to get food for free.
“Food from a food bank—the supply—is a free good, and by definition there is an almost infinite demand for a free good,” he said.
The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest network of food banks, has previously categorically denied free food, rather than desperation, is the motivation for people to visit their facilities. “Everyone who comes to a Trussell Trust foodbank is referred by a frontline organisation, people can’t just turn up asking for free food,” the Trust said.
“If someone does come to a foodbank without a voucher, the foodbank will talk to the client about why they need the foodbank and put them in touch with the most appropriate agency to help them.”
Over 50% of referral agents to the Trust’s food banks are statutory agencies and referrers include doctors, social workers, schools liaison officers and Citizens Advice Bureaux staff.
Tebbit has been outspoken this week on his opposition to the Bedroom Tax, allying himself with Labour leader Ed Miliband on the issue. “I worry about what Labour chooses to call the bedroom tax,” he said at a Bow Group meeting. “Because so often what is a spare room is in fact a vital part of the looking after an elderly person. It enables their relatives to come, it enables carers to be there.”
He added: “I think we introduced that rather without thinking it through very well, and I think that’s costing us.
Is Lord Tebbit right in thinking about the Bedroom Tax when he said:
“I worry about what Labour chooses to call the bedroom tax,” he said. “Because so often what is a spare room is in fact a vital part of the looking after an elderly person. It enables their relatives to come, it enables carers to be there.”
He added: “I think we introduced that rather without thinking it through very well, and I think that’s costing us.”
Tebbit made the comments on Wednesday evening at an event in parliament held by The Bow Group. Delivering the conservative think-tank’s first Annual State of the Conservative Party Address, he said the chances of the Conservatives winning the next election were “not looking too hopeful”.
Under the coalition’s policy, families receive less housing benefit if they are deemed to have more bedrooms in their home than they need. Ministers insist the change is necessary to reduce the housing benefit bill and also free up much needed living space.
Tebbit’s comments ally him, unusually, with Ed Miliband. The Labour Party has said the measure unfairly targets poorer people as well as the disabled and has pledged to abolish it should the party win power in 2015.
The veteran Tory peer, who is no cheerleader for David Cameron or the coalition, told Conservative activists that the leadership of his party needed to woo back Ukip voters if it had any chance of winning the next election.
“David Cameron could only manage 10.7 million [votes in 2010], that was simply not good enough, there was really no excuse for it,” he said.
“His efforts to gather Lib Dem support meant he reinforced the conviction of Lib Dem voters that the Lib Dems were right and we left many of our voters lost.”
Cameron alluded, perhaps unintentionally, to his failure to secure a majority at the 2010 election during prime minister’s questions on Wednesday when he conceded to an MP that he was “not the world’s biggest expert in campaigns”.
Tebbit is a fierce critic of Cameron’s attempts to modernise the Conservative Party and blames the strategy for the party’s current inability to overturn Labour’s poll lead.
He said that should Ukip come top in this May’s European elections, as is widely predicted, then the Conservatives would need to sign an electoral pact with Nigel Farage to prevent Labour winning in 2015.
He said local Tory parties should look at whether it was the Conservative or Ukip candidate that was most likely to beat the Labour or Lib Dem challenger – and then vote accordingly.
“Where we look at a constituency we should say who has the best chance of ensuring we do not get a Lib Dem or Labour member elected,” he said.
“If it’s a Tory, Ukip ought to withdraw, if it looks to be Ukip then we should withdraw and tell our voters they should go that way.”
Tebbit also said that the coalition had been a mistake and the sooner it was ditched the better – even if it meant forcing a general election. “The coalition has gone past its sell by date, it’s beginning to smell a bit,” he said.
However despite his hatred of the coalition, Tebbit said he did not object to all the Lib Dem ministers in government. “The chief secretary to the Treasury is one of the best of them,” he said. The compliment is unlikely to be received warmly by its target, Danny Alexander, who has in the past been accused of being too close to George Osborne.
Whilst Staffers from the Conservatives Cabinet ministers have given personal staff huge pay hikes while restricting public sector workers to below-inflation rises.
The meagre increases for workers mean they are taking a pay cut in real terms – while some special advisers are enjoying bumper rises of more than a third of their salaries.
The special adviser to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith received a massive 36 per cent salary boost last year.
David Cameron’s chief of staff Ed Llewellyn got a hefty 12 per cent increase from £125,000 to £140,000 – which means he now earns more than twice the £66,396 salary of an MP.
And Home Secretary Theresa May’s private office aides Fiona Cunningham and Nick Timothy enjoyed whopping 14 per cent rises, taking their pay from £65,000 to £74,000.
Special advisers, known as “spads”, are temporary civil servants who give political advice to ministers.
Mr Duncan Smith bumped up his spad Philippa Stroud’s pay last year from £69,250 to £94,000.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, said: “It’s an absolute disgrace.”
A Cabinet Office spokesman explained that pay rises for spads have to be approved by a special committee, which is chaired by Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.
He said: “The pay of some individual advisers has been adjusted to reflect an increase in responsibilities.”
Although the Tory-led Coalition had promised to clamp down on spads, their numbers have soared since 2010.
Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Chi Onwurah said: “Ministers are happy to sign off on massive wage increases for their political advisers.
“Yet nurses and thousands of other health workers are singled out not to receive a one per cent pay rise.”
Earlier this month, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt flat-out refused an across-the-board salary rise, recommended by an official pay review board, to thousands of NHS staff.
Pay increases for junior public sector workers have been below inflation for four years.
That means they are taking real-terms wage cuts while the cost of living in Britain has soared over the past few years.
As a result, the average public-sector worker is £3,700 worse off over this period, according to research by experts VocaLink.
But top civil servants pocketed more than £140million on top of their pay last year – despite a Government promise to end Whitehall’s bonus culture.
Almost 900 members of the elite Senior Civil Service received bonuses averaging £9,700, with one Ministry of Defence mandarin getting £62,422.
So do continue to run around like headless chickens coalition and many of will be voting for Labour come 22 May 2014 in European and Local Government elections.