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
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.
Down St Mary