We are led to believe the lie that the world has been plunged into an economic recession and ridiculous ‘austerity’ measures have to be introduced to redress the balance of the economy.
The propaganda has been relentless, with every area of our society affected by very severe budget cuts, job losses, and citizens plunged into the depths of poverty.
The vulnerable and low earners have been most effected, with middle-earners feeling a gradual creep of financial strangulation. But not everyone has suffered financially because of ‘austerity’ measures.
The richest families in the UK have DOUBLED their net worth since 2008. The richest 1000 families now control a total of £547 BILLION.
According to the Sunday Times Rich List, their assets have increased from £258 billion in 2009, a rise of 112%, with the biggest rise happening in the last 12 months – the biggest rise for the past 6 years.
While billionaires are seen a ‘superboost’ to their already substantial assets, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies the average household income is just starting to recover and remains at 2007/2008 levels.
Duncan Exley, Director of the Equality Trust, told the Guardian “Inequality at this scale is hugely damaging for society. Multiple studies show that living in a more unequal country means you’re more likely to have poorer education, suffer from poor mental health, trust people less, be the victim of violent crime and even die earlier.”
The only benefit ‘austerity’ has is for the rich. Time and again the UK coalition government was warned by leading economists that the road to ‘austerity’ is a dangerous and damaging one for society as a whole. Cuts in services, unemployment, and the lack of disposable income creates a cycle of financial asphyxiation.
With people unable to pay their mortgages and service their credit, banks and financial institutions have moved in for the kill, seizing assets to repay loans. In doing so these institutions have inflated their financial worth dramatically, and the assets they hold will be sold when the market recovers – which it inevitably will – further increasing their shareholder’s profits.
They know that debtors will also find more financial stability as the ‘crisis’ eases, and will return to work – albeit with a much lower income and on worse conditions – and will repay their credit with increased penalties and charges. More profit for the banks.
The government’s ‘austerity’ measures have made no difference to the economy whatsoever. Claims of having to make savings through public service cuts has been proven to be false, as private companies (usually the government’s ‘preferred partners’) are awarded very lucrative contracts and employ people on less than favourable contracts, some of them being the same public sector workers who had previously done the same job.
‘Austerity’ has been very good for big business. As well as lucrative government contracts, employee’s rights and stability of employment have been severely affected through a massive increase in temporary contracts – especially zero-hour contracts – which have spread like a plague.
What the government has done has tried to fool us into further economic slavery.
There is as much cash in the pot as there ever was. Even during the height of ‘austerity’ measures the government still managed to find cash for their pet projects. For example, Cameron’s ridiculous increase in foreign aid while at the same time slashing welfare and social care budgets.
All the coalition government has done is shifted the balance of wealth, which they perceive as a balance of power, from the poorest and easiest targets into the pockets of their cronies.
A most distasteful exhibition of outright greed and self-interest at the expense of society as a whole.