…as a ploy in persuading everyone to be “all in this together”.
Radio4’s flagship Today programme brought together two rival economics/politics experts to discuss whether the UK actually has undergone an austerity programme.
Osborne wants less of this?
The bottom line seems to be that tax increases have been ineffective and muddled, spending cuts have not been severe and could not really be described as “austerity”… What we have had is a programme of cuts that has slimmed down the public sector, but all those workers got rid of have of course got wonderful new private sector jobs in the improved economy.. (COUGH!?)
No, they didn’t say that. – neither did they comment on the pay freeze in the public sector that has affected my own and a million other people’s jobs for the past 3 years. In fact the net effect of the recently announced (less than inflation) rise and the previous total freeze means that, on average, we have seen a real terms wage decrease for the past 5 years …
So let us make Gideon happy.
Let us make austerity real.
Let us make it bite.
Let us see everyone whose wages have increased in real terms over these past five years, reverse their income to that previous level…
A fine example to be set by all those CEOs and directors who, for the skills they have shown in creating and pushing the recession into continued existence, have taken an average of 40% increases in “remuneration packages” over the same period…
It is true that there are fewer of them than extreme low earners, so this measure would have less effect than denying all benefits to all the hungry and desperate families in the UK, unless you count starvation, riots and disaster as effects, but it would be immensely popular with those same (voting) masses, and still raise a few billion for the economy (all monies to be invested in growth measures, either by those companies or via donation to the exchequer)
“Long live democratic austerity!”