It is easy to forget how much we rely on public services, paid for through taxation. The pavements we walk on. The roads we drive on. The public parks we enjoy. The clean air we breathe. All are tax funded public services. Basic services.
Take a step up. Emergency services, fire, police, ambulance, passport control & customs. Tax funded. The NHS, Education, Social Services, vital for the health and well-being of common people.
We rely on the food hygiene standards. Who can forget the horse meat scandal? You can eat safely in restaurants, or from takeaways, because of the hygiene standards paid for through taxation.
Your waste is collected on a regular basis because we pay our taxes. So don’t let anyone tell you that they can cut your taxes without those cuts having an impact on your life.
You may use a library. You may travel on privatised, yet tax payer subsidised, rail and bus services.
Don’t think that only those in work pay tax on their income. VAT, alcohol, fuel, travel, plus many other activities, attract tax. And as a society we need to pay that tax.
Today, many of those services are under threat from politicians in Westminster, through their pursuit of austerity . Austerity we are told is necessary to cut the deficit. Yet that austerity is accompanied by tax cuts for the most affluent and wealthy members of our society.
Britain has run a deficit for much of its economic history. The reason for the recent increase in Britain’s deficit is not a sudden jump in public spending, it is a sudden drop in tax receipts. That drop in tax receipts was caused by the credit crunch, a result of financial speculation. Speculation that was designed to make the wealthy even wealthier. And who pays the price?
Having caused the financial crisis the wealthy speculators turned to you, the tax payer, when they found themselves in financial dire straights. You bailed out the banks with your income tax, VAT, fuel duty, alcohol duty, etc. You paid the price to bail them out.
Having paid the price you were then asked to pay again, through austerity, so the wealthy could keep their low taxes, and even have their taxes reduced. You paid twice. And Osborne announced a hike in the threshold for higher rate tax – a tax cut for all those paid more than the than the old threshold.
Now after five years of austerity, you are being asked to pay for another five years. Is that fair? It is if you are a wealthy speculator. It is if you are a millionaire cabinet minister. It is if you are a well paid politician. It is if you are well paid banker on a massive bonus. I could go on.
But it’s not fair if you are an ordinary person, with an ordinary job, earning an ordinary wage. Our current politicians call you “hard-working families”. They look to you to fund their wealthy life style through austerity, low wages taxes and the sale of national assets, privatisation.
We have three Westminster parties, plus UKIP, committed to a programme to eliminate the deficit through austerity, cutting public services, low wages and privatisation.
This economically illiterate approach will require billions of pounds of cuts and will further exacerbate problems associated with inequality and poverty. All of this, so that the people who caused the problem can keep their millions, and in some cases their billions.
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