The U.K. government creates its spending money out of thin air. Therefore it does not rely on loans or taxes. Therefore cuts to welfare benefits are gratuitous. And cuts to disability are monstrous, as in sociopathic.
George Iain Duncan Smith was the U.K. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which oversees the British welfare system.
Last Friday (18 March 2016) Smith resigned because he could no longer tolerate cuts to disability payments ordered by David Cameron and his Finance Minister George Osborne.
Smith’s resignation letter includes the words, “I am unable to watch passively while certain policies are enacted in order to meet the fiscal self-imposed restraints that I believe are more and more perceived as distinctly political rather than in the national economic interest.”
Finance Minister George Osborne faces a growing rebellion from within his own Conservative party over the plan which tightens eligibility criteria for a state benefit which supports the disabled or long-term sick. The cuts amount to 4.4 billion pounds ($6.36 billion) over the next five years.
Remember: That money doesn’t just help the disabled. It helps all Britons, because it enters the U.K. economy. Or it did, until Cameron and Osborne eliminated it.
In his annual budget on Wednesday, Finance Minister George Osborne announced further cuts to corporate taxes and capital gains taxes. He also lifted the earnings threshold at which the higher rate of income tax is payable. He warned that the U.K. economy would grow more slowly than previously forecast. (So much for the glorious non-existent “recovery.”)
Although Duncan Smith presided over deep cuts to benefits for the last six years, Smith said the scale of cuts in welfare for working people had “gone too far” to the extent that they were harming both the Conservatives and the country.
Mr. Smith is no saint. He wants to reduce the U.K. government’s budget deficit. He just thinks it should not be done by cutting for support for disabled people. He attacked Osborne’s entire deficit reduction strategy that is based on cutting benefits for working-age people while protecting those for pensioners, who are more likely to vote.
“The truth is, yes, we need to get the deficit down but we need to make sure we widen the scope of where we look to get that deficit down and not just narrow it down on working age benefits,” he said.
Deficit reduction is called austerity.
George Osborne wants to be the next Prime Minister, and he is constantly trying to outdo Prime Minister David Cameron in calling for more austerity, whose one and only purpose is to widen the gap between the rich and the rest.