Wednesday, October 20, 2010

That is brutal

Yesterday our Spanish teacher asked us if the financial situation in Britain is as bad as it is in Spain. Our reply was “yes and possibly worse”.

The proposed spending cuts in Spain sparked of a general strike, the plan to raise the pension age in France has created chaos so what will happen in Britain?

This is from the DailyTelegraph:-

Leaked documents yesterday showed that the independent Office for Budget Responsibility is likely to forecast 500,000 public sector workers will lose their jobs because of the cuts, the biggest in public spending since the Second World War.

Public sector workers will also have a two-year pay freeze and be told that they face increased pension contributions from next year.

George Osborne will announce more than £13 billion in welfare cuts today. In total, including cuts announced in the emergency Budget, the welfare bill will be reduced by about £25 billion over the next four years.

The reduction will be achieved by stripping hundreds of thousands of people of their incapacity benefit by introducing means testing. Those who are judged capable of eventually being able to return to some work will lose out if they have savings and investments worth more than £16,000. The move is expected to save more than £1.5 billion a year.

Ministers are also likely to tighten the eligibility criteria for tax credits, although details will not be finalised until next month. Mr Osborne will confirm that higher-rate taxpayers will lose child benefit from 2013. Negotiations were continuing last night on whether to scrap child benefit for those over 16. Mr Osborne is understood to have had a late “wobble” over the plan and is studying the proposal again. Winter fuel payments to the elderly will be maintained but, as ann­ounced by the Labour government, will fall by £50 to £200 for the over-60s. Housing benefit payouts will be cut by £5 billion and the right to a council house for life will be scrapped.

Under the spending review, every government department – except health and international development – has had to find budget cuts of up to 40 per cent by 2015.

It is thought that the budgets of the Home Office and Justice Department will be particularly hard hit. Last night, a leaked memorandum disclosed that there are expected to be 14,000 job losses at the Justice Department. It said that the “front line will bear the brunt”, with 9,940 redundancies in the prison and probation service. There is expected to be a reduction in the number of front-line police officers and fewer criminals will be sent to prison.

Transport projects – including the widening of roads – will be abandoned and rail fares are expected to rise by more than 8 per cent a year.

and from The Guardian:-

Osborne acknowledges that his unprecedented spending review will take Britain into uncharted social and economic territory as he announces £83bn of spending cuts over the next four years.

The cuts will involve the loss of thousands of jobs, massive cuts in university funding, wholesale reform of public housing and further cuts to the welfare budget.

The coalition will also announce the state retirement age is to be raised to 66 in 2016, 10 years earlier than previously planned and liable to save billions of pounds in the medium term. It is also expected there will be big cuts to the budget for sport in schools and the abolition of the specialist school network. Some departments including the Ministry of Justice, the Department of Communities and Local Government and the culture department will see cuts of 30%, involving multibillion-pound reductions in the prison programme and to legal aid.

Voluntary groups and private companies operating on a payment-by-results basis will be asked to take over the rehabilitation of released prisoners. As many as 10,000 national offender management jobs will be lost.

1 comment:

Will said...

There were some 'sweeteners' but overall it is an attack on the public sector and the vulnerable. Osborne said that 'no family on benefits would get more money than a working family.' The last time a government used language like that was in 1834 when they introduced the New Poor Law and build huge workhouses on hills to scare the lower classes into avoiding help from the poor box. Edwin Chadwick called it 'less-eligibilty'! A couple of decades later Samuel Smile published his book on 'Self-Help' stating that the State had no role to play in the lives of ordinary people! They soon found that laissez-faire and self-help was inadequate and that is why the country moved towards a Welfare State. So, to me, Osborne's cuts are based on classic Tory ideology and are politically driven. The amazing thing, however, is that the Lib-Dems, a so-called social democratic party, are part of this policy. Osborne has taken a huge risk expecting the private sector to fill the void left by the shrinking of the role of the state. I think that in 20 years time they will reverse the polic and move back to more state intervention. By the way, Keith, as a retired teacher myself, I adopted the same policy as you to graffiti! Zero Tolerance! (And chewing gum as well!)