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!

Public Services are not unproductive. They perform an essential service that promotes the economy.

The Tories have an attitude towards Public Services: they regard them in the same way as they look at parasites – unwelcome.

The Tories regard Public Services as an unproductive drain on resources. They wish to reduce them to a minimum and curb pay for public servants.

The Tory ethos is that it is the Private sector that generates wealth. That is where the money should go. We can do without the Public sector.

This is short-sighted. While the Public sector does not generate the wealth directly it is essential to enabling the wealth generators to function. I would make the analogy to the army. The soldier may be the effective force at the front-line but without a munitions industry making the bullets, a transport industry to get them to the front, food, water and information they are helpless.

The Public services provide essential back-up.

We need our teachers, nurses, doctors, road workers, social workers, fire-fighters, police and council workers.

If you look in the field of education (that I happen to know something about) this is obvious. The workforce who are going to power the country and create the wealth are only able to do so because they have been properly educated. Every parent wants their sons and daughters to receive a first-rate education. They want nice schools which are properly equipped, excellent teachers who are well-motivated and a curriculum that stimulates their children.

If you don’t put the money into the system it falls apart. If you don’t pay properly then you do not attract the best. If you have poor work conditions and pension schemes you end up with demotivated staff. If you do not have the money to buy equipment lessons become substandard and boring. If you do not repair buildings they rapidly become dilapidated. You end up with a poor quality service.

The Tory answer is to introduce competition and threat. They deploy Ofsted as a weapon bring in business and use the big stick.

Result – the best teachers leave. The ones left are depressed. The children suffer.

I’ve witnessed it first hand.

The same is true for the Health Service, the Police, The Council Workers, The Fire Service, Social Services and the rest. They are all being paid less, have worsening conditions, reduced numbers, poorer pensions and expected to perform at the same standard. If I get ill I want to be operated on by one of the best. If I get mugged I want the police to sort it out. If my house catches on fire ……..

The rich buy in private to ensure they get the best. The rest of us have to make do with what’s left.

The infrastructure and support provided by the Public Services is a crucial part of the economy. They contribute!

Don’t believe the lies! We should have the best education, health care, policing, fire service, road maintenance, social care and environmental standards. You cannot do that on the cheap!

Public Service cuts are hitting at the poor. The rich are immune. They have their private services!

public services

Austerity is the excuse for a colossal assault on public services. It is nothing but political dogma!

We’re all in it together? A joke!

The Tories have seized the opportunity to decimate public services. Our schools, hospitals and services have been subjected to political reorganisation that is nothing other than political interference and control.

The Tories hate Public Services with a vengeance and resent every penny spent on them. But where would business be without roads? Schools, A health Service? Police? Fire services? Bins emptied? Bodies buried?……….

The business sector depends on the Public Services. The wealth of the country comes out of our combined endeavours. For every soldier in the front-line there is a munitions worker, logistician, supplier of uniform, weapons and food. Thus it is with business. You cannot create wealth without a good support system.

Public Servants enable the wealth producers to function!

This attack on Teachers, Nurses, Firemen, Police and the rest is politically driven. It has little to do with austerity!

Read what a highly successful ex-Secondary Headteacher has to say. I’m the only one making sense!

Austerity is a sham – an excuse to introduce Tory dogma.

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We had a large national debt. Every government has a debt but when the economy collapsed due to the world recession and the interest rates rose the debt became a millstone round the neck.

There is no dispute that we needed to pay the debt off. It is how it is done that is the crux of the matter.

SPAIN-ECONOMY-LABOUR-DEMO

The Goodwin plan should have been implemented:

Reduce government spending.

a. Trim the budgets to remove the fripperies (training, innovations, meetings, pamphlets, glossy brochures) and put practitioners back from think tanks and training programmes into classrooms and hospitals.

b. Keep everything the same and introduce no changes. Every change costs money.

Encourage growth

a. Stimulate the economy by introducing building programmes that get people in work to pay more taxes.

Instead of introducing The Goodwin Plan this is what the Tories actually did:

a. Used austerity as an excuse to slash Public Services – reduced wages, cut pensions and made conditions worse for Nurses, Teachers, Firemen, Council Workers, Police, and everyone else in the Public Sector.

Steve Bell 28.09.2012

b. Brought in huge rafts of ideological reform and change costing billions, increasing privatisation and causing chaos. Public Services were thrown into such disarray they didn’t have time to protest.

c. Slashed benefit for the needy.

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d. Produced lots of low-paid, temporary and zero-hours jobs which got people off benefit, paid starvation wages but produced no tax return. Cheap labour for the rich to exploit.

e. Gave tax cuts to the rich.

f. Did nothing to deter the huge salaries and bonus culture at the top. The rich have never had it so good. It makes a mockery of ‘We’re all in it together’.

Result – we still have a massive debt, the economy is labouring, the rich are richer and the poor are poorer. That’s about par for a Tory government. They are there for the bosses. If it wasn’t for the media (owned by Tories) putting a spin on it and obfuscating the reality it would be obvious.

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Tories look after their own!

Instead of tackling the problem they used it as an excuse to reward their rich chums, guarantee they themselves     have juicy advisory jobs to walk into, and fleece the poor.

Public Services – We need quality!

While some small minority is in a financial position to no longer require public services the majority of us would appreciate quality.
When I am on an operating table I would like to be in the hands of a superb surgeon.
I would like to be quickly diagnosed by an expert GP treated and cared for by a motivated nurse.
When I am threatened or have suffered a burglary I would like enthusiastic and skilled police to protect me and investigate with some hope of bringing the felons to justice.
I would like my grandchildren being taught in happy schools to really high standards by expert teachers.
I want fires put out by highly trained firemen, bins emptied, roads maintained and the council run effectively.

Why is it that some people think that these jobs are not vital? That these professions are not highly skilled? That these public servants are not worthy of our appreciation?

Why is it that the damage created by the politicians and bankers is being paid for by the public services?

Why is it that the public services are being subject to redundancy, pay freezes, puny 1% pay rises, worsened conditions of service and drastically reduced pensions?

Supposedly we are all in this together. So why tax cuts for the top end? Why inheritance hand-outs? Bonuses and pay rises in double figures for politicians and bankers?

Where is the justice? Fairness? Equality??

Clearly we are not all in this together!

If you create misery among our public servants it will be no surprise when it all goes pear-shaped!