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UK chancellor George Osborne is using divide-and-rule tactics to try to push through further cuts of around £25 billion over two years by 2017-18. This includes £12 billion in social security reductions. The poorest will be worst affected but, if he gets his way, many others currently struggling to cope with sharply rising prices and rents will be hit.
After the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 5 December 2013, the BBC’s Business Editor, Robert Peston, made an extraordinarily political statement which went unchallenged.
“Two arrogant posh boys who don't know the price of milk” Nadine Dorries' opinion of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor gave every appearance of welling up from a deep reservoir of personal peeve. But last week, a Conservative MP expressed an almost identical opinion to me.
Yesterday's Comprehensive Spending Review was a display of politics at its most callous and divisive.
Hundreds of millionaire bankers will enjoy an extra £54,000 on average each year from 6 April 2013, thanks to a cut in the top UK tax rate (assuming they pay taxes here and opposition calculations are correct). A massive state bailout previously saved many banks, after their sector triggered an economic crisis in which numerous taxpayers suffered. By coincidence, Mick Philpott – whose crimes are being exploited by the Chancellor and Prime Minister to undermine the principle of social security – also apparently received £54,000 a year from public funds.
The government’s war of words against disabled and badly-off people continues unchecked. The latest slurs by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Prime Minister and the Minister for Disabled People suggest that UK politics has become a largely fact-free zone.