A personal view from Phil C. on countering Tory cuts to benefits.
Disability groups would do well to talk about the Tax & Benefits system, as one entity with two arms to it.
This government has chosen to have fewer HMRC Inspectors and to take a soft line on tax avoidance (with the odd piece of tough rhetoric on tax evasion). This reveals the Conservatives’ true attitude to the “hard-working taxpayer”, about whom they claim to care.
The Conservatives have made a commitment to reduce Inheritance Tax, and have already reduced the 50p top-rate Income Tax, Corporation Tax and Capital Gains Tax, to help the very rich to become even richer.
To achieve their aims, this government has reduced spending on the low-paid, people with a disability or chronic ill-health, the unemployed, the middle class, women, children, teenagers & students. Accordingly, it has chosen areas for cuts largely in welfare and public sector services.
The talk about reducing the deficit is merely a smokescreen, an attempt to minimise the amount of unpopularity their agenda would otherwise create.
It appears that there are ‘hard-working’ taxpayers out there who think (very naively) that any reduction in the total welfare bill would mean a reduction in taxes for the many.
No, it won’t.
The tax burden on the middle classes and employed workers is higher through the VAT increase and the various other measures taken by Osborne.
Those who stand to gain tax advantages from welfare cuts are the very wealthy.
So, in real terms, what is planned is a transfer of monies (yes, out of the hard-earned taxes of the many) from the poorest and most disadvantaged members of society to the wealthiest. It is a redistribution upward and offshore.
Thus, rather than a specious discussion about “deserving poor” versus “undeserving poor” – the ‘skivers’ and the ‘strivers’ – the real debate should be about an “adequate welfare system” versus “less taxes paid by the very wealthiest”.