Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Guardian's Seumas Milne: For the Lib-Cons, this is an excuse to shrink the state

From The Guardian website 16 June 2010

by Seumas Milne

The lemmings are heading for the cliff, and there seems to be no stopping them now. Cuts mania has got Britain's coalition in its grip, and next week's emergency budget promises to be a field day for the deficit hawks. For weeks we have been softened up with the drumbeat of debt, orchestrated by a media – including the BBC – which endlessly repeats as fact the catechism that the deficit is a mortal threat and cuts the only way out.

Whatever the evidence or the arguments, the answer is always the same. So now we're primed for higher taxes, weighted towards the poorest through increased VAT; a Liberal Democrat-led attack on "gold-plated" public sector pensions, which average £4,000 a year in local government and £6,000 in the health service; and the prospect of a scythe through public services that has already taken chunks out of free school meals and support for the young unemployed.

The problem isn't just that cuts risk tipping us back into recession and will hit the worst-off hardest. It's that by taking demand out of the economy and undermining a fragile recovery in the process they could actually increase the size of the deficit, as has happened in Greece and Ireland...

Read the full article at The Guardian


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