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David Cameron has said the government's massive cuts will be delivered in a way that “strengthens and unites the country”. His words remind me of his colleague's George Osborne's claim that, when it comes to tackling the economic situation, “we're all in this together”.
The problem, of course, is that we're obviously not. The wealthiest are likely to be largely unaffected by the cuts, given their access to private health care, private education and sources of wealth from which the rest of us do not benefit.
And while the Tories seem thankfully to have accepted the Liberal Democrats' policy of raising Capital Gains Tax, the richest will on the whole pay little if any extra tax. The coalition has announced no plans to raise the top rate of income tax or to introduce VAT on the luxury of private schooling. Should they announce such things in this month's budget, I'll be delighted to admit that I was wrong.
Only last week, we had a solid reminder that not everyone would lose out from the cuts, with the news of an increase in the Civil List, adding to the already excessive wealth of the Windsor family at the expense of the public.
Others likely to benefit from the government's economic plans include the owners of private arms companies such as BAE Systems, who look set to rake in profits from the renewal of Trident, a nuclear weapons system designed for the Cold War and likely to cost at least £76bn. Trident is excluded from the Strategic Defence Review, meaning that it will be exempt from the “comprehensive” re-consideration of government spending.
Despite the spending on Trident and the Civil List, Cameron has already mentioned pensions and benefits in his comments about "painful decisions".
The coalition have decided that the rich and the poor should not be expected to suffer equally as a result of the cuts. The poor will suffer far more.Tweet