As George Osborne ploughed through the list of ‘efficiency savings’, it seemed as though he struggled to iterate what he was orchestrating. Almost with a guilty conscience, he reached for his glass of water after every departmental shrinkage plan. The monetary arm of the state is no longer the source of promise that has rescued those trapped on the peripheries of society, it has now turned away. With this it has put the futures of a generation at risk:
- It has forced those who work so diligently to offset their well-earned retirement plans, by increasing the retirement age. This is compounded by a further £3.5 billion worth of contributions that have to be made by public sector workers for their pension schemes.
- The departmental cuts total £46 billion, including 27% from local government, 29% from the environment and 23% from the Home Office.
- It has taken a further £50 a week from those who genuinely claim incapacity benefit, and has stripped another £7 billion from the Welfare budget (the equivalent of £1000 a year from 7 million families) on top of the £11 billion cuts announced previously. Those depending on tax credits and housing benefits will now get a significant amount less or nothing at all.
- 40% cut in Higher Education- stifling the chances of many innovative and bright young people to excel in the world of academia. My thoughts on this are in a previous blog written recently.
- The Ministry of Defence will face an 8% reduction in funding which equates to the loss of 42,000 army personnel or civil servant jobs over the next five years.
- He announced that the commitment to the renovation and new building of social housing will be cut by 60% over the next four years.
The list is endless. To take £81 billion out of the budget through depreciating government spending in the vital services and help that our society necessitates over the next four years is without question showing a complete disregard for the poorest and most vulnerable in society. It is widening the gulf between the top of the social ladder and the bottom, and it recklessly diminishes the future prospects of those not even born yet. And as the Tory backbenchers praised and cheered their man’s vast Spending Review it got me thinking- this ties in with traditional and recurring Tory principles- to hold the poorest at arm’s length, and let the rich get richer.