Friday, September 10, 2010

George Osborne to cut £4bn more from benefits.

It is so typical that the heir to the Osborne baronetcy, a man born into a lifestyle of unimaginable privilege, should view those living on benefits as people who have made "a lifestyle choice".

Osborne simply doesn't get the fact that the choices life has made available to him are not available to everyone. So he has vowed to take what he imagines to be a choice away from the poorest members of society.

The chancellor George Osborne today dramatically turned up the heat in the spending review by revealing he would slash the benefit budget for the unemployed by a further £4bn, and saying he would go after those who regarded welfare benefits as "a lifestyle choice".

Interviewed today, Osborne said: "People who think it is a lifestyle to sit on out-of-work benefits … that lifestyle choice is going to come to an end. The money will not be there for that lifestyle choice."

Treasury sources indicated they were confident they would secure £4bn in further savings by 2014-15 on top of the £11bn savings set out in the June budget.

This might very well be remembered as one of the cruellest governments we have ever had to endure. Certainly, the fact that it is the very weakest members of society who they have as their target is something which they have made no attempt to hide. Indeed, Osborne has positively relished making it clear that he despises a group of people who he sees as riding the system.

Clearly, Osborne has never had to live on benefits and is unaware of what a miserable life those on benefits endure. He seems to actually believe in this fantasy "lifestyle" argument he puts forward, he really thinks that those living on benefits are having a ball, as if minimalism in material goods is somehow a Utopian dream. And Iceland frozen foods are the epitome of haute cuisine.

This is what I always feared might happen should a group of Eton educated toffs, with absolutely no idea how working class people live, be given the keys to Downing Street. All of Osborne's prejudices are driven by a set of beliefs which have no bearing in reality.

Thankfully, at last, some Liberal Democrats are standing up to this nonsense and are saying that enough is enough.

The benefit proposals, and the manner in which they emerged in Osborne's interview with the BBC's Nick Robinson, also angered leftwing Liberal Democrat MPs Mike Hancock, Tim Farron and Bob Russell. Vowing to vote against such cuts, Hancock said: "This goes right to the heart of the benefit system in this country. He has a lot of questions to answer and this is not the right way to do things."

Russell said: "This is not the way the coalition should work. I think Liberal Democrat MPs need to find out what is being done in our name. He is going around with a sledgehammer."

Farron said: "The government needs to demonstrate that those who got us into this mess are going to more than bear the brunt and that the most in need will not be targeted. We need to scrutinise where the cuts are made."

And, as certain Liberal MP's at last stood up to this nonsense, Osborne made his most bizarre claim yet, and appeared to argue that he has a mandate from the British public, a claim which was untrue when Thatcher made it and is simply nonsensical when put forward by the Chancellor of a coalition government.
"There will be further welfare cuts amounting to several billions of pounds additional to what I announced in the budget," he promised. "The people of this country understand this choice and they have chosen for us as a government to push further on welfare reform."
The people of this country did not elect a Tory government, so any claim by Osborne that they were elected to carry out this task is simply nonsense. Indeed, the very reason that the Conservatives formed a coalition was because they did not have enough MP's to form a government on their own, unless they were prepared to form a minority government.

And it is ironic in the extreme that Osborne is seeking to target benefits at the exact same time as he is proposing throwing many more people on to the dole.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Yvette Cooper said: "George Osborne talks about cutting the welfare bill, but their own figures show their policies are cutting jobs and putting more people on to benefits. We know already that the coalition is hitting the poorest carers, pensioners and the most disabled. They urgently need to explain where these extra cuts will fall."

This is exactly what Thatcher did. She watched unemployment soar to over three million whilst she attacked "social security scroungers", the very people whom her polices had made unemployed.

Cameron put a lot of work, when out of government, into removing the label "the nasty party" from the conservative brand. Unfortunately, once back in government, people like Osborne are showing a positive relish for the very actions which earned the Tory party that title in the first place.

Click here for full article.

No comments: