Continuous cutting

Justin Beament writes;

Continuous cutting of Government expenditure is destroying our society as we know it!
 

In the run up to the 2010 election my partner and I attended a hustings debate at Lapford.

After an evening of political debate, much of it missing important issues

such as care for older people, some of us adjourned to the Malt Scoop opposite. I

distinctly remember Mel Stride stating that the Conservative determined to reduce

the size of the state to no more than 35% 0f Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Tories

were obviously going to use the Banking crisis as a means of reducing the size of the

state regardless of what effect that this might have on society. I pointed out that even

when Margaret Thatcher was in power she never reduced the size of the UK state below

that of 42%. If Mr Stride wishes to dispute this I have a witness who will substantiate my

assertion.

Five years have gone by and we have witnessed fewer than a half of the proposed cuts,

many of which are for ideology reasons. Nobody disputes that there have had to be

measures to reduce the deficit. However we have witnessed the closure of local hospitals

and residential homes for the elderly along with youth clubs, libraries and other local

services. Much of this by cutting too early and too fast, resulting in a loss of tax revenues.

Rather than refocusing the UK economy as George Osborne asserts, we see little real

increase in manufacturing, the 2014 UK balance of payments is at £74billion (the second

highest since WW2) and the national debt has reached £1.480 trillion, a 40% increase.

These figures are supplied by the OECD and the Office for National Statistics. The last

time that the national debt was partially repaid was between 1997 and 2001 when Gordon

Browne was Chancellor. So the people of Britain have experienced an economy that has

either reduced in size or flat lined since 2010. It is only in the last year that the economy

has grown (much of it by injudicious manipulation by George Osborne, ie the housing

market in the South east, as well as a booming property market in London.

A reduced state to 1930s levels will create a more unequal society, social mobility will

continue to decrease and the gap between rich and poor will grow, as it has since the

early 1980s. All this leads to a fractured society, typified by the growth of food banks and

the stigmatising of the least fortunate and many young people in our society. So yes, the

Church of England Bishops are absolutely correct in alerting voters about the growing

gulf between rich and poor and the erosion of society that will inevitably follow.

Justin Beament

Down St Mary

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