Osborne’s policies are deliberately designed to shift money from the poorest to the richest

Research from LSE has found that the chancellor's policies have seen the poorest five per cent lose income while the top one per cent have gained.

Natalie Bennettj

Research from LSE has found that the chancellor’s policies have seen the poorest five per cent lose income while the top one per cent have gained

If you went into hospital with sickness, you’d hope to be given the treatment that would help nurse you back to full health.

The last thing you’d expect would be for your doctor to turn round and say “we know what’s causing your symptoms and we can cure it but we’re going to keep hold the medicines – see if you can stave off the illness by yourself.”

You’d be incandescent if you then discovered that the reason the doctors were hoarding away the drugs was so they could pass them on to their friend in the private bay next door – even though that meant they were receiving several times the dose they needed.

Be thankful then that George Osborne isn’t your family doctor. Because when he stood up today to give his Autumn statement he wasn’t prescribing the medicine our economy needs to get it back on its feet.

‘Dr’ Osborne was playing a political game – using alarming talk about the economy to frighten voters into clinging to him and Nurse Cameron whilst he continues to shuffle the financial deck to favour his friends in the city, putting their interests above those of the rest of us.

Of course Mr Osborne has never been one to stick to his economic Hippocratic Oath. The cuts he has introduced have not worked even in their own terms (for tackling the deficit) – instead they have led to falling real wages, lengthening queues at food banks, rising poverty, and increasing inequality.

Osborne’s economic policies have been deliberately designed to shift money from the poorest to the richest. Whilst many continue to struggle on low wages, Osborne has had the audacity to introduce a tax cut for millionaires.

Research from the London School of Economics has found that the changes our chancellor has introduced to benefits and income tax have seen the poorest five per cent lose income while the top one per cent have gained.

Overall, money has shifted from the bottom half to the top. Osborne would make a bad doctor but fits quite well in the role of Sheriff of Nottingham.

Today he showed no sign of shame, no hint that he’d be prepared to turn on the tap and allow money to drip back down to those most in need. His investment in road building will do nothing to support those who rely on our ailing public transport network.

He has committed the country to a further £48bn worth of cuts – not the spending on warm, comfortable, affordable-to-heat homes that so many are struggling along without.

And by trying to lock any future government into a commitment to eliminate the structural deficit by 2017/18 (something he has spectacularly failed to do) he has found a way to continue to try to exercise his dark magic, whether he holds the key to the public purse after May 2015 or not.

Balancing the books is a matter of choosing your priorities. The priorities of the Green Party and the Coalition are poles apart and had we been delivering the Autumn statement today, the actions would have been very different.

We believe that in a wealthy nation such as ours, no one should have to go without decent pay and decent benefits: it’s a moral outrage that whilst average wages continue to fall, the average pay of the FTSE 100 directors has grown by 21 per cent in the past year.

We would rebalance and redistribute so that everyone gets a fair slice of the pie, while we all move to living within the environmental limits of one planet.

We would introduce a Wealth Tax on the top 1 per cent (those worth more than £3 million) to ensure they pay their fair share back to society, providing us with up to £43 billion with which to invest in our economy.

We would make the minimum wage a Living Wage so that jobs pay enough to build a life around. We would ensure that the CEO doesn’t get more than ten times the wages of the office cleaner.

Our message is simple: if you don’t like the treatment you’re getting from your current doctor, it’s time to consider making a change. The Green Party believes in doing things differently. We can build an economy that works for all within our environmental limits – in fact, that’s the only type of economy we should be aiming for.

Natalie Bennett is the leader of the Green Party. Follow her on Twitter

8 Responses to “Osborne’s policies are deliberately designed to shift money from the poorest to the richest”

  1. George Kokke

    I worry so much about Ms. Bennett’s actual economic policy. The plan must surely be to encourage rich people to invest in new technologies and businesses thereby creating good jobs, increasing global GDP and living standards for all. In the doctor analogy above, I say make more medicine! Countries that follow a socialist agenda with high taxes on productive people and state benefit for less productive people have not done well historically.
    Why is the Green Party socialist? A global capitalistic green party could do so well…

  2. bigstew76

    In response.

    In general rich people only invest when there is the chance of a significant return and on sure things, neither is usually the case with new tech & businesses.

    The Green Party tends to follow a socialist route as the very fundamental of capitalism is return for the shareholders. Nothing else is as important, certainly not employee’s rights, the environment, paying a decent wage. A CEO must make as much money as possible for investors. This is why I don’t believe there could ever be a Capitalist Green Party.

    And anyway there is enough for everyone to live a comfortable life without taking much from the very top of society. Its avarice that propels the current system and a change is long overdue.

  3. Tom

    Why can’t the State invest in new technologies and business instead?

  4. Henry Tinsley

    Those lefty Scandinavian countries have been such a disaster…

  5. Dave Stewart

    They do. The vast majority of hi-tech companies are based on scientific research paid for by the public sector. It then simply gets commercialized by private companies. A good example of how things could be dealt with better is NASA.

    NASA holds patents on a whole host of things from Velcro to that tempa mattress foam which brings in huge amounts of money for the US government the vast majority of which NASA never sees of course.

  6. littleoddsandpieces

    People are dying from starvation and freezing in unheated homes because of welfare reform that is actually the end of the welfare state, for which the poor, in or out of work, pay a 90 per cent tax rate from the 75 per cent of tax that comes from stealth taxes and VAT, even on food.

    The loss of state pension payout at 60 from 2013, payable if remain in work or lose work, especially due to disability / chronic sick (over 50s not much chance of re-employment, even if were able to work), adds to the loss of benefit (97 per cent benefits bill goes to working poor and poor pensioners – 2.6 million on starvation pension).

    The flat rate pension is the biggest con in UK history and will see the

    END OF THE STATE PENSION

    to huge numbers of women born from 1953 and men born from 1951

    that is their sole food money in old age

    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

    So I despair about Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party, who wil not tell the tens of millions on 20 per cent income level that are the poorest, whose lives are threatened of all ages by any other party anywhere near power, of the unique new policies that would save lives as soon as they formed a majority government in 2015.

    My life is threatened by fuel poverty, as no benefit and no state pension, get no Winter Fuel Allowance, so house without central heating as unaffordable.

    Starvation has risen 70 per cent since 2010, causing a huge rise in malnutrition hospital admissions and the rise of the hunger symptom of Rickets in kids.

    It is not coincidence that the rise in benefit sanctions for many months, also sees a rise in starvation, as it takes one month to starve to death.

    So why is Ms Bennett, Leader of the Green Party, not saying they will save huge numbers of lives from starvation and hypothermia in 2015, by their unique policies coming into their 2015 manifesto from their Spring Conference:

    – replacing the huge cost of benefits admin changes that even The Times say cause predictable and entirely avoidable impoverishment, and has added to national debt and not paid a penny towards austerity, with:

    – universal, automatic Citizen Income, non-withdrawable

    to the level of the basic tax allowance

    with a supplement for the disabiled.

    – Full State Pension to all citizens, irregardless of National Insurance contribution / credit history, which is mostly lost due to benefit rule changes and benefits lost to the early retired in lieu of redundancy under the massive austerity job cuts that would reach 1 million by 2018.

    The poorest workers under The Greens would not need to pay 12 per cent of their wage each and every year, just so wealthy politicians can get ever richer, whilst the poor are denied benefit and denied state pension payout, when the NI Fund has been full for decades, not needing a top up from tax.

    About a third of the population are having their lives threatened.

    The rise in employment is just more working poor, that are the bulk of those going to food banks, themselves insufficient as in Europe there are daily free cafes offering a free cooked meal and hot drink, whereas in UK the taxpayers pays subsidy for still edible food to the 400,000 tonnes to be thrown away instead of donated to Fareshare, the supplier of food banks who gets no state subsidy.

    The Greens offer hope and not death. It is as simple as that.

    The rich have realised this and damn austerity and welfare reform, as throughout history when the poor have been left to starve, then the rich’s world goes pear shaped.

    The Greens would have paid off the national debt by now, because the The Greens’ Citizen Income and the Full State Pension would have generated jobs on the high street, as it is the poor and old who shop in town centres.

    When is the last time you saw a Shopmobility charity shop on a retail park?

    So Ms Bennett, when are these unique policies going to appear on billboards throughout England and Wales (and the 4 or 5 left over seats after the SNP landslide in Scotland in 2015).

    Tell people of the biggest con in UK history of the flat rate pension that is more about leaving the poor without state pension, even when turning 80 in 2016.

    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

  7. Keith M

    Natalaie Bennett has got it spot on.

  8. Darren Killian

    Under this government we have seen real average earnings plummet at a rate last seen centuries ago. While the rich are making ever-increasing profits, wages have declined and prices have been allowed to rise. Under this government there is no real competition in the markets any more. While wage have also been allowed to decline through schemes like zero-hour contracts, apprenticeship wages etc. All designed to increase the profits of the rich while we have to look here and get loans to make the ends meet. We’ve been robbed blind by this government. Did they really think we wouldn’t notice?

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