Sunday, December 9, 2012

(Opinion) Osborne Autumn Statement: Moral Midgetry In The Form Of a Statement




The Conservative Party can be cruel, the Conservative Party can be cold, but what you can count on is that the Conservative party will be predictable. Surprise, surprise, chancellor George Osborne announced welfare cuts in the Autumn statement targeting the unemployed and working class as these cuts “will see most working age benefits including Job Seekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support, Child Tax Credit and the Working Tax Credits rise below inflation at one per cent for three years[1]

These cuts ironically hurts the institution conservatives appeal to the most (save the business community, of course) the family as they punish single parent families as “single parents stand to lose £330 of their 2011-12 income in their 2015-16 pay packets” while couples are less hit, they are hit nonetheless as “a couple who have children and rely on childcare are set to lose on average £217 and a couple with children in which only one adult works will lose £122”[2]

Many argue, mostly conservatives and new Labour relics, that the class wars are over, they’re right, but only because the rich and privileged have won. The chancellor, who is both rich and privileged has targeted the welfare system from the off for cuts as the conservative party have made it a point to tackle ‘scroungers’ but have done very little to tackle to regulate the excesses of corporate greed or even manage the economy efficiently.

The Labour party have dithered in their response to the Autumn statement, presumably coming up with a plan on how best not to look like they care about the plight of people who make up most of the country as according to a ‘senior Labour figure’, backing people who probably vote Labour may be “politically suicidal” as it leaves “the party open to charges that it sides with “scroungers” and is in denial over the need to cut the benefits bill”[3].

This reveals the cowardice of the Labour party which was created to represent the poor and disenfranchised which currently being led by a son of a Marxist who seems to have real anxiety over standing up for the poor and unemployed. While it is quite clear Labour will not return to the old social democratic position any time soon, it should at least be able to put up a serious defense of the working poor who mostly vote Labour in their droves.

In sum, the welfare cuts announced in the Autumn Statement was no shocks as the coalition government led by the Conservatives has proven from the get go that welfare cuts were on the menu and the working poor and the unemployed had better watch out. The lack of response from the Labour Party has shown that the Labour party have been cowardly in defending the poor as they try to avoid the conservatives accusing them of siding with the poor, which, more often than not opt for Labour as the conservatives, to be sure, have made clear who they are for and who they are against.  



[1] N. Simons, 2012, George Osborne’s Benefit Cut Hurts Single Mothers The Most, Research  Finds,  http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/07/george-osbornes-benefit-cut-single-mothers_n_2260093.html
[2] Ibid
[3] T. Heim, 2012, Ed Miliband to wage war on George Osborne over benefit cuts,  http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/dec/08/ed-miliband-george-osborne-welfare

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