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The shame of Austerity Britain

(288 Posts)
mostlyharmless Tue 29-May-18 15:22:14

Am I being unreasonable to think that in Britain today (still one of richest countries in the world) we shouldn’t have people needing to use food banks or sleep on the streets, shouldn’t have a health service that is struggling to cope and shouldn’t have a crumbling social care system.

Falmer Wed 30-May-18 04:32:17

Anyone believe in a new world order and austerity being part of that?

Falmer Wed 30-May-18 04:34:55

Turkeys voting for Christmas. Exactly.

M0nica Wed 30-May-18 07:32:49

knickas23 the government we have was voted in by us. So we, everyone of us, are the turkeys voting for Christmas.

The only way things will change is if we, everyone of us, especially those with party allegiances accept that good services mean higher taxation and are prepared to come forward say so and vote for them.

Singling out individuals or small groups who are very rich gets us nowhere, just allows us to bleat about how unfair everything is without doing anything about it. In which case we deserve the lousy services we get.

Iam64 Wed 30-May-18 07:46:25

I read the New York Times article yesterday. It’s an excellent piece of journalism. This morning, the daily mail has responded with fury. How very dare those lefty US journalists tell the truth about the impact of austerity. One of the ways to claim the article is fake news is to dispute the claim the police station is closed. It’s been moved into the fire station, so that’s ok then.
I’d be happy to pay more tax to fund excellent public services. I identify with Scandinavian countries, tax high, fund excellent public services and ensure the rich, the multinationals pay up.
We are heading for an American system, the poor and disadvantaged on the scrap heap. Education, health, care for the sick and vulnerable only available if you’re wealthy.

Iam64 Wed 30-May-18 07:49:21

Edit button. - Of course we need to vote this government out. We need to have a really effective opposition that not only it’s own supporters will vote for. Many remain anxious that the current leadership of the opposition are more scary than the government. How can this be ?!

Welshwife Wed 30-May-18 09:00:26

For some years we has a tax rate of 22% and for some nebulous reason an incoming Tory Govt reduced the rate. I for one would be quite happy to pay a couple of pence in the pound more for better services etc.
The personal allowance now is well over £11K which is a fair amount.
Many countries have no personal allowance but a very low starting tax rate. In France there is a Wealth Tax. You need to declare your worldwide wealth if you live in France and your wealth is over a limit.The total wealth needs to be over something like 1.3 million€ - we do not come into this category as we do not have personal pension funds (Govt pensions) but our friends with their own funds do require to declare and pay. Maybe this is the way to go -I have no idea if it includes the house you live in but I assume it does include other property.

Beau Wed 30-May-18 09:12:24

I could not disagree more. I would not be willing to pay any extra tax and I am angry that someone could say 'the Rees-Mogg creature' about the first decent, honest politician that we have seen for decades so I will not comment further, except to say that in every respect I prefer the American model apart from healthcare where I believe the French have it right.

HurdyGurdy Wed 30-May-18 09:22:30

If national finances were that easy to manage, then labour wouldn't have left that famous note saying "sorry there's no money", and our national debt wouldn't have grown so much under the Conservatives.

It seems neither party are particularly clever about it.

Everyone not in government has all the answers, but I wonder if they'd still be so vocal if they were in charge and found that armchair economics is very different to actually making it work in practise.

theresacoo Wed 30-May-18 09:28:10

I volunteer in a food bank.
Lots of different people use them.
Low pay high rents are a problem
0 hour contracts
People claiming benefits that they are entitled to waiting up to 12 weeks for application to go through.
People living pay check to pay check need a new washer for example then can’t eat.
It’s very sad but the community is amazing at donating food and toiletries.

Falmer Wed 30-May-18 09:36:16

Yes, the new coalition told us in 2010, didn't they? That things were going to be tough, we're all in it together, etc. Haven't seen them tightening their belts though? We're all being taken for fools.

Aepgirl Wed 30-May-18 09:39:10

We've just got too many people in a small country. The coffers aren't a bottomless pit.

mostlyharmless Wed 30-May-18 09:39:47

Food banks and their volunteers offer a brilliant service.
But they shouldn’t be needed in a prosperous country in the twenty first century.

mostlyharmless Wed 30-May-18 09:41:48

What disgraceful penny pinching. Not even allowing families to have the ashes? Surely this can’t be happening.

Poorest families 'being barred from funerals of relatives' because they can't afford to pay for them
Council tells loved ones they are not allowed to attend or have ashes if they cannot pay for a service.
Some of the UK’s poorest people are being barred from attending the funerals of loved ones as part of council cost-cutting, it has been claimed.

Falmer Wed 30-May-18 09:46:38

but they shouldn't be needed in a prosperous country...... Exactly. Every time I donate to the food banks, I feel so resentful against the "powers that be" who are pushing us into this situation.

Falmer Wed 30-May-18 09:51:23

Funerals barring poorest families! Yet still people either ignore the possibility of new world order or claim "crazies, tin foil hats". We've been watching all this unfold since the millennium.

Beau Wed 30-May-18 09:52:18

I was on benefits for a while in the 1970's and I would have loved to have access to a food bank as I regularly went without food so that my daughter could eat, as did a couple of other single mums I knew at the time. I donate food in Waitrose every week for that very reason.

Silverlining47 Wed 30-May-18 09:58:30

I agree with everything MOnica says. Good services need higher taxation and we are all responsible if we keep voting for any party that offers to keep income tax at the current (or lower) rate.
In France the middle income (roughly £25,000 to £60,000 pa) tax is 30%. The health system is excellent and the French are prepared to demand a a good return for their money.

Marieeliz Wed 30-May-18 10:10:37

I feel the foodbank scenario is a way of left wing people trying to make out that this country is poor! I wait for the brick bats. In the 50's we were "poor" I saw my Mum cry for lack of money. We still ate though and cooked from scratch food being re hashed daily. Not saying it was right. It did it no harm though. Sorry but I think this is all a left wing rant.

Welshwife Wed 30-May-18 10:12:48

How are things to be paid for if not from taxes?
If we could expand the number of people paying tax things would be a bit better but so many people working full time do not earn enough to pay tax and indeed are in deficit and need payments from the tax system. I feel so sorry for those people working hard and not really getting anywhere.
If we cannot get it right with paying better wages and therefore reducing the amount of benefits people need to claim for how we are to solve the problem? It is all very well saying that the NHS should be more like the French system but how would the people needing benefits pay for the top up insurance policies? It is age based rather than health based - the insurance companies are not allowed to ask about medical history although of course they gradually get an idea over the years by the bills they are paying - but what happens to the people with no insurance?

Applegran Wed 30-May-18 10:23:21

I agree with almost everything written in this thread. It is surely the mark of a civilised society that we care for the most vulnerable and those in poverty - it does seem to be an ideologically driven policy to cut welfare and 'reform' it. It was not perfect in the past, no policy will ever be perfect, but it did aim to help the poorest, and that includes children. I just heard on the radio an interview with a mother who has to choose between food for herself and food for her children, and cannot always afford electricity to enable her to wash her children's clothes. A teacher said this mother was typical of the families in the deprived area where they lived. In this case it was Weston Super Mare, but will be duplicated in many other places. And we see so many homeless people on our streets, as well as food banks in our super markets. We are indeed a rich country! Surely we are getting our priorities wrong - the gap between rich and poor is widening. Where is Labour in all this? Why aren't they speaking up about this and saying loudly and clearly what they would do to alleviate this poverty? A whole generation of children growing up in poverty will be affected all their lives by this deprivation. Not just Labour of course - surely the Tories care (at least in theory) about poverty? Lib Dems? Maybe they should all consult the Child Poverty Action Group and Shelter.

MaizieD Wed 30-May-18 10:26:08

eee, Marieeliz We lived in a cardboard box in the 50s and we only went to school one day a wwek because there was only one pair of shoes in the family which we had to share...

In the 50s our economy was recovering from fighting a war that had bankrupted the country. Haven't you noticed that the world has moved on from then and that, as we are constantly being reminded, the UK is one of the world's richest economies. It is disgraceful, and completely unnecessary, that a large section of our population is experiencing poverty such as that described by other posters. And that the gap between the rich and the poor is steadily widening.

All for the sake of a an economic theory which is becoming more and more discredited.

Applegran Wed 30-May-18 10:27:09

P.S. I'd willingly pay more taxes to help alleviate poverty and homelessness.

MaizieD Wed 30-May-18 10:31:04

Where is Labour in all this? Why aren't they speaking up about this and saying loudly and clearly what they would do to alleviate this poverty?

I think that Labour's attempts to oppose this are getting missed in the ongoing furore about Brexit. My local Labour MP has been very active in parliament in opposition to austerity but the messages just seem to get lost.

Lyndie Wed 30-May-18 10:47:17

I am not prepared to pay more tax. We are taxed at every turn. It’s not just on our pay. We do need a wealth tax or a higher minimum wage. What we need is to make the pie bigger by more exports and the rich sharing more with the people that help them get wealthy. It’s a myth we are not building homes. Where I am we have four new estates going up of hundred if not thousands of houses and if you travel the country it’s the same everywhere. To compare our economy with countries of around 5 million isnt the same. We must now have nearer 70 million. We need more small businesses exporting. Starting a business is often costly and regulated to the lowest common denominator. We need fantastic education for our kids. I could go on.

EmilyHarburn Wed 30-May-18 10:49:13

i agree with your posts M0nica