The following is the full text of the letter to the Observer newspaper (9 December 2012), on the impact of the government's autumn budget statement, from charities, churches, trade unions and NGOs. Ekklesia fully endorses the sentiment and message of this letter.
The assertion that “those at the top and those at the bottom are being hit hardest” by the government's austerity policies suggests a misleading equivalence, says Simon Barrow. In reality it is those with least who are being punished most.
Further slashing of welfare is on the cards for Chancellor George Osborne's Autumn statement on the economy today. What is being portrayed as growing public hostility towards benefit claimants is being used as the justification for further measures that will hit the poorest and most vulnerable in society.
There is room for real, substantial reform to the EU budget and many other aspects of the functioning and policy of European institutions, says Simon Barrow. But to address these issues properly, Britain’s political leaders should abandon rather than feed the narrow Westminster mindset that the recent EU budget row exemplifies.
This morning (22 March 2012) Chancellor George Osborne is mainly taking stick for his so-called 'granny tax' - as the tabloids put it. That is the tax adjustments which mean that 4.41 million pensioners lose money and the Treasury claws back some £1.2 billion.