You have probably all heard a lot about the budget from the government which was revealed yesterday. Perhaps you think that it all sounds promising. Maybe you will be better off because of the changes being made. However, there are millions of people who will not.
A “budget for working people” is certainly what the government want to highlight. They want everyone to think they are being fair by rewarding hard work. They are not being fair, they are dividing society more and more.
All the GDP figures that are thrown around, all the numbers and predicted results of the changes mean nothing. GDP is all about corporate profits. These numbers they keep spewing fail to take into account that there are things more important than money – people’s lives. The predicted GDP ignores the increase in people having to use food banks, the increase in homelessness and the suicides caused by austerity measures.
Will this budget benefit you? Well, if you are wealthy then yes. If not wealthy, then either things will not change for you personally or they will get a whole lot worse. Let’s stop just thinking selfishly about the impact on ourselves and look at the bigger picture.
The government is certainly continuing with their spiel about giving back to hard working people. I mean, obviously those who have more money work harder, right? Corporation tax is set to be cut because those poor huge businesses need that money so desperately. The threshold for inheritance tax has risen which is great if your mummy and daddy are planning to leave you their half a million pound house.
They want people to think that they are not favouring the rich over the poor. They do aim to save£5bn from tax avoidance after all. Tax avoidance is often a crime of the very wealthy. But, when it comes to welfare, the number increases to £12bn. The priorities here seem a bit off to me. It is estimated that there is way over £12bn in unpaid and avoided tax yet the government are choosing to cut money for those who really need it instead of telling their buddies to pay up. Quite frankly, it is a joke.
If you are disabled, mentally ill, and unable to work for any number of reasons then you will be affected in a bad way. The threshold for tax credits, for example, is set to drop meaning less people will be eligible to claim and if they do, they can only receive it for their first two children. There are families who rely heavily on money like this. Single parent families, parents with mental illnesses or any other disability that means they are unable to work for their income.
There are plans to reduce the benefits cap to £20,000 per year outside of London. Now, this might sound like enough money to live on. But when you factor in children, bills and numerous other expenses, this money will go pretty quickly.
Again, hitting those who cannot work, ESA is set to be reduced to the level of JSA. If someone has never been able to work, they might have no savings. Whereas, someone claiming JSA with the ability to work might have money put aside for periods of unemployment. Do you see where I’m going here? The government is essentially shitting on disabled/mentally ill people.
After the increase in tuition fees from the coalition, young people might have hoped to get through this budget relatively safe. No. Higher maintenance grants for poorer students? Fantastic! But, now they won’t be grants, they will be loans which you will be expected to pay back. Personally, I would have been unable to go to university if this was the situation when I applied a few years ago. Plus, 18-21 year olds could lose out on housing benefit entitlement. So many people come out of education and rely on housing benefit to keep a roof over their head whilst they look for work. The government doesn’t seem to like this which could easily lead to increasing numbers of homeless young people.
The government plan to increase the national living wage. In theory, this sounds like a great idea. But, think about it a bit more and cracks appear. If you’re under 25 then this will not apply to you so young people are being screwed over again. If you run a small business then you might struggle to increase wages and have to lose staff leading to increasing unemployment. Who will this benefit then? Why, surprise, the big business that the government is so fond of will be happy! They can afford to pay staff more, they currently choose not to. It will probably be nothing to them and they can continue with making lots of profit.
Whether or not this budget is going to be detrimental to you, please do not be fooled into thinking that this government cares about its people. This budget just highlights the unfair and widening inequality that is present throughout society. Surely you can’t be okay with that?