True to form, the Conservatives are setting in motion a round of severe cuts that will disproportionately affect the poor and vulnerable.
The Independent reports:
announcement includes an £11bn reduction in welfare spending,
squeeze on tax credits for families on middle incomes; a three-year
in child benefit; and the stipulation that all claimants of disability
living allowance undergo medical assessments.
Housing benefit will be cut and most benefits will be raised in line
consumer prices index rather than the retail prices index. This
an effective cut in the annual increase of about 0.75 of a percentage
which will eventually save £6bn a year. Public sector workers earning
than £21,000 a year will have their pay frozen for two years.
Of course, defense spending will not be affected (because of all the imminent threats the UK faces....), and thankfully education looks to have been spared. Most worryingly, the Tory led government will enact a rise in VAT that will hit the poorest the hardest, despite their claims that the rich will bear the brunt of the austerity measures. Check out the Guardian's break down of who gets hit the hardest - namely working mothers, the poor, and the disabled.
The UK is still suffering from the after shock of the economic meltdown two years ago, and slashing public spending will only prolong the suffering and make true recovery that much harder. The Tories claim that the economic crisis was a result of government overspending, yet the Labour party ran the country on a platform of conservative economics - tax cuts for the rich and rampant deregulation of financial markets. The money Labour did spend on the most vulnerable people has ensured they haven't been completely decimated by the recession, but unfortunately the Conservatives are in power and will ensure that they are. Welcome to Margaret Thatcher's Britain Part Two.