We have to live within our means – the May Mantra

That was the mantra coming from Theresa May yesterday – ‘We have to live within our means’.

Well I agree and will put aside the fact that we aren’t doing so at the moment. Despite 7 years of austerity we are still borrowing. Austerity has definitely not worked. There are far better ways – but that’s for another post.

So why aren’t we living within our means?

What can we do about it?

Well basically we are not living within our means because we are not taxing enough.

There are many ways to live within your means:

a. Tax people more

b. Spend less

c. Create more growth and hence more tax income

This government chose to tax the rich less (giving away higher end tax cuts and corporation tax cuts) and spend less by applying pay cuts for the public servants. In the process they shrank the economy and reduced income. The more they applied austerity the less income was generated.

The end result was that the rich bankers who had caused the crisis were rewarded and the poor public servants who serve us all have suffered seven years of misery for nothing.

A sensible way forward is to tax the rich more, pay public servants more (what they deserve), borrow, if necessary, to expand the economy by funding infrastructure improvements. If people have more money there will be greater economic growth that will decrease the debt. Borrowing to invest in growth makes sense. The rich are not investing the bonanza they have been given. They are taking it abroad or sitting on it. Money given to the poor is mainly spent in the country generating further tax income for the government.

Austerity hasn’t worked.

Public servants have been victimised.

It’s time for a big change! More fairness! More equality!

8 thoughts on “We have to live within our means – the May Mantra

  1. Well said, Opher. It’s a shame that Tory governments operate that way – it is true over here in Canada too. What I really hate is the Tory penchant for attacking the Civil Service and convincing the public that civil servants are lazy, overpaid fat cats. Imagine… a FAIR tax system… WOW!

    1. Yes John – they come out with the same old chestnuts – we have to live within our means – tax cuts for the rich increase revenue – we need a prosperous economy to pay for our public services. It all sounds like George Orwell to me. Yet when there’s a crisis and we suddenly need the police, firefighters, doctors and nurses, they are all heroes; when there is a skill shortage teachers are important again. All Tory dogma. They used the monetary crisis as an excuse.

      1. I was disappointed that May wasn’t tossed out on her derriere – instead, she got spanked. That business about the civil servants reminds me of a Tory government in Ontario back in the 90s – the premier appointed a guy who dropped out of grade 10 when he was a kid as our Minister of Education. I asked my grade 11 students how they felt about being better educated than the Minister of Education. Their eyes bulged. Trump didn’t do much better with his choice.

      2. No I heard about Trump’s choice. We’ve had some terrible ones over here. Gove was an imbecile. He’s done more to damage education than anyone I can remember – more bureaucracy, more work, less pay and a restricted curriculum. He has squeezed the arts and banished creativity. Appalling.

  2. It’s no different here, Opher. We live in the highest taxed state of Australia. Our politicians have just given themselves a pay rise whilst on the very same day they cut out penalty rates for shift workers. Fairness and equity for all is what we need – everywhere

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