Monday, 21 June 2010

Government for the rich - by the rich

Tomorrow we get George Osbourne's cuts budget. There has been plenty said about this in the past few weeks, and we have been prepared for swinging cuts. It's been estimated that the cuts could create 750,000 job losses in the public sector - but this doesn't take into account the knock on effects which will mean thousands of job losses in the private sector. Of course, its not just jobs which are under attack but benefits and pensions. Once again we have been hearing the lies about how the public sector have 'gold-plated' pensions when the average pension is just £4,000 and the Local Government Pension Scheme is well funded.

The CBI has been in full class war mode, urging Osbourne to make savage cuts in the public sector and now stating that it should be made more difficult for workers to strike - to ensure that they are powerless to resist. These cuts will not help us to revive our battered economy and may not help in deficit reduction. Why? Because Keynes was right - you can't cut your way out of a recession. The same mistake was made in the 1930s leading to more than a decade of misery with the world economy in a slump. Only the massive boost given to the US economy by the Second World War was able to lift the global economy out of depression.

There is an alternative to all this - it was laid out in the Green Party manifesto. We can reduce the deficit and stimulate the economy be creating more than a million jobs without cutting public services. The answer is a mixture of green taxes and fair taxation with those who benefited most from the boom years bearing their fair share of the burden.

In a press release, Caroline Lucas the Green Party leader said: "Cuts are not an economic inevitability but an ideological choice. Politicians of all parties are now sharpening their axes to slash public spending, forcing those on lower incomes, who depend on public services the most, to pay the highest price for the recent excesses of the bankers. There is a choice. We should ask those best able to pay to foot the bill through fairer taxation. That’s the challenge I’m issuing: for that political choice to be made. It must be clearly asserted that we are not all in this together: that some had more responsibility for this crisis than others, and some benefited more from the boom that preceded it. Those who enjoyed the largest benefits must pay up now. For that to happen, fair taxes, not cuts, must become the new big idea to replace today’s callous and uncaring cuts fanaticism.”

Its important to understand that the cuts agenda is political - not economic. This is where we get to pay for the mistakes of the bankers and their chums in the market. We have a choice also. We either vote for people who are out to screw us or we opt for a real political alternative. The only party with any alternative to offer is the Green Party.

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