Brexit! Great for hiding the inconvenient truth.

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Austerity Misdirection and Austerity

The So called people’s vote have had their greatest success in diverting attention from the real issues of Austerity to the machinations of project fear. Letting the Tories of the hook!

Within this small funny tinge group they all claim to have abandoned the parties that gave them their political seat and status for any and all number of reasons but the one common thread that binds them all together. ‘The People’s vote’ and trying to stop Brexit.

Chuka soubry
Peoples vote chair Chuka Umunna and Soubry

What was always clear was the fact the so-called People’s vote would never have removed the Tories from power nor would it have tackled Austerity. The peoples vote would never have changed the the policies of Austerity even if the unicorn of a second referendum came charging out of the mythical woods of the remain camp.

The TIG although they claim democracy would be served best with a second referendum  suggesting circumstances have changed since the vote of 2016. yet they deny the voters of their own constituencies the right of a by-election to reelect them or or not. Even though the facts have changed! Should the People not have the right to vote again?

What is very clear ‘The Independent group’ not only want to pervert democracy they also advocate the continuation of Austerity. Instead of pointing the finger at the Tory Government that imposed Austerity they use Brexit to misdirect the causes and the impact of austerity. They know full well that granted their unicorn of remaining within the EU the Tories would continue to carry out their austerity.

Umunna’s group are totally opposed to Labour’s radical programme to try and roll back the impact of market-led, neoliberal economic policies that have led to vast inequality in the UK. One of their number, Chris Leslie, a former shadow chancellor, made their priorities clear:

“They [Labour’s economic policies] are hostile to business large and small,” he said in his resignation speech. “They make impossible promises that everyone knows, in their hearts, couldn’t be kept without putting the economy at risk. And they constantly pit one part of society against another.”

The Independent Group’s statement underlines “the sound stewardship of taxpayers’ money” as one of its core values. Sounds much like Tory philosophy, which is why three Tories felt able to join the ex-Labour gang on the opposition benches.

After all Austerity is part and parcel of being a member of the European union.

Another peace of grand illusion that somehow remaining a member of the EU would help in the fight against Austerity. Many Labour supporters, who are anti-Conservative and reject the austerity myth on a domestic level, are demonstrably committed to EU membership. A YouGov poll conducted before the EU referendum showed that the vast majority of Corbyn’s supporters were very much in favour of remaining in the European Union.

On the surface, there is no conflict here. These voters support the EU of free-movement, the EU of workers’ rights and of international cooperation. What is not considered, however, is that the EU maintains a staunch and unwavering commitment to austerity within its member states.

This is not an exaggeration. The European Union (alongside its legislative arm, the European Commission, and its monetary arm, the European Central Bank) is committed to the kinds of sweeping austerity measures that have been championed by successive Conservative governments here in the UK. The EU has either demanded or directly imposed austerity measures on several of its debt-ridden member states.

Anna Soubry MP, now a member of Parliament’s Independent Group of Labour and Tory defectors, has praised austerity.

The former Tory minister said the coalition government, which kicked off David Cameron and George Osborne’s austerity programme, “did a marvellous job” and the cuts to public services were “absolutely necessary at the time”.

“I think the things we did to the economy were absolutely necessary at the time. I don’t have a problem with that,” she told the press conference, where she and two Tory colleagues announced their split from the party. She added that the country was at risk of running a “dangerous deficit” without taking that action.

While Soubry’s colleague Heidi Allen struck a different note on austerity at the same event – saying her former party had been blind to the “suffering endured by the most vulnerable in society; suffering which we have deepened” – all three Tory defectors have voted in favour of austerity measures.

Soubry has consistently voted for cutting welfare spending and against welfare rises. Allen, despite her recent “anti-austerity tour”, has voted to reduce benefits for the majority of the time. Their colleague joining them on the opposition benches, Sarah Wollaston, has also consistently voted to cut welfare spending and against welfare rises.

Yes, they may be long-time critics of this Tory leadership, and classed as “compassionate Conservatives”, but their voting records on economic policy don’t separate them a great deal from their government colleagues.

A Labour party source has already used these pro-austerity credentials to attack the Independent Group, telling the Independent’s Ashley Cowburn: “It didn’t take long for the Independent Group to show their hand and reveal they stand for privatisation, austerity and tax cuts for the rich.”

How far will the group’s eight Labour members be able to distance themselves from what the left generally sees as a damaging and ideological economic policy?

While Chuka Umunna and Chris Leslie in particular were seen as business-friendly and “centrist” in their economic roles under Ed Miliband (shadow business secretary and shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, respectively), the ex-Labour MPs in the group have almost always voted against austerity measures.

Indeed, in an interview following his resignation from Labour with my colleague George, Leslie said, “There are real problems with their [the Tories’] welfare policies, which have had a tin ear to the most vulnerable in society”.

He and his fellow ex-Labour moderates do not sign up to Jeremy Corbyn’s manifesto (in the same interview, Leslie decries renationalisation of privatised utilities as “the controlling instinct of the hard left” and “Marxist ideology”, and is sceptical about a 50 per cent top tax rate and abolishing tuition fees). But this doesn’t make them austerity advocates.

How will they square this, then? Could they choose the line that no matter how they approached the cuts back then, they are no longer the right policy for now, as Soubry suggested?

After all, it’s an argument that has traction even among some ministers in this time of “end of austerity” rhetoric from Theresa May and Philip Hammond. The Work & Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd herself has said it’s time the benefits freeze comes to an end, even though she says it was the right thing at the time.

But this line has the downside of being utterly disingenuous, which most people who deliver services or encounter constituents already know. Any local politician and many an MP will tell you that the worst impacts of austerity are only just starting to hit. That policy you’re still happy you supported back then? Well, it’s only just fully being enacted now.

The ex-Labourites in the group know this, even if they have long been labelled “Red Tories” by opponents on the left. They might be accustomed to such insults – but if their new colleagues’ defence of Osborne’s cuts defines them as a group, they will struggle to tempt over fresh recruits from their former party.

Extract Anoosh Chakelian  senior writer at the New Statesman.

The people’s vote is very apt at using words like ‘IF’ and ‘COULD’

Could is probably one of the most used words when talking about Brexit. “It could mean this, If that!” however when it comes to reality we can actually measure the impact that Tory, Lib Dem enforced austerity is having on the people.

No one denies there is going to be market uncertainties due to Brexit but to what extent and how they will fluctuate is a guess at best. Until we have real details of what form Brexit will take no one really knows.

What we do know for sure is that the enemy of the Working class is ‘AUSTERITY’ it  causes real and measurable effects on people’s lives. Chuka Umunna chair of the so-called people’s vote likes to quote what he calls facts about the effect of Brexit on the people and how much it will cost poor families he estimates the cost to be £900 per week! Yes, he really said that! 

What we have all been short of in general is real facts and figures the reality of Austerity and the impact on society.

We also know Austerity disproportionately effects the poor, while yes the age old truth of the rich get richer while the poor get poorer still bears true.

Austerity is killing the Poor!

in 2012 it was reported: More than 30,000 NHS workers and 71,000 in education were among more than a quarter of a million public sector staff who lost their jobs in 2011 as the government’s austerity measures started to bite.

Official figures revealed that a total of 270,000 posts were cut from the public sector payroll last year, reducing the workforce by almost 7%, to 5.94 million.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of the public sector union Unison, said: “It is clear that we are not all in this together. Since the coalition came to power, one public sector job has been lost every 2 minutes and 18 seconds. That’s 625 public sector workers joining the dole queues every single day. The government urgently needs a credible plan for growth and recovery.”

The Office for National Statistics published the tally of public sector jobs alongside the latest unemployment figures, which showed that the flatlining economy is still taking its toll on the labour market.

Spending on welfare benefits for the UK’s poorest families will have shrunk by nearly a quarter after a decade of austerity, according to new figures highlighting the plunge in living standards experienced by the worst-off.

By 2021, £37bn less will be spent on working-age social security compared with 2010, despite rising prices and living costs, according to estimates produced by the House of Commons library.

The figures, obtained by Frank Field, the MP for Birkenhead, show that just under half the total savings will come from the freezing of most working-age benefit levels since 2016, a policy which will deliver cuts of nearly £16bn.

Some of the most striking cuts are in disability benefits – personal independence payments (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA) – which together will have shrunk by nearly £5bn, or by 10%, since the start of the decade.

The UN Special Rapporteur’s preliminary findings on the UK. Ministers are in a “state of denial” about poverty, a UN expert has said following a 12-day tour of the UK.

UK austerity is ‘inflicting misery’, says UN expert

Human rights envoy issues scathing verdict on UK policies and says government is in denial of the harms caused

LINK:

The United Nations’ special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights is touring not Bangladesh nor Sudan but the UK

New analysis reveals how much austerity has cost each person in the UK

A new measurement of UK poverty published last week by the Social Metrics Commission highlighted that more than half of families living below the breadline contained at least one person with a disability.

Other cuts include: tax credits (£4.6bn), universal credit (£3.6bn), child benefit (£3.4bn), disability benefits (£2.8bn), ESA and incapacity benefit (£2bn) and housing benefit (£2.3bn). By contrast, spending on the state pension will be £1.7bn higher by 2021.

Almost a decade of austerity has hit GDP per person by £1500 a year according to new analysis from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) – just over £3600 per household – . The analysis published today shows that the isolated effects of government policy have been to reduce GDP growth every single year since 2010. This has suppressed the level of GDP by just under £100bn (£99.4bn) in 2018/​19.

The analysis notes that reduced government spending has also served to exacerbate existing economic imbalances by forcing household’s to increase their own borrowing to sustain GDP growth. The pursuit of deficit reduction via a policy of spending cuts has also proved a false economy in so far as the lower tax receipts from suppressed GDP have in turn contributed to numerous missed borrowing targets since 2010. The isolated effects of austerity to come are also expected to suppress GDP by a further £18bn, £117bn per year in total by 2022/​23 (2018/​19 prices).

Alfie Stirling, Head of Economic at the New Economics Foundation, said:



“At this time of year there is often renewed speculation over whether the Chancellor will meet his year-end deficit targets by March. But for 9 years, the elephant in the room has largely been missed: the sheer scale of economic damage that these targets have contributed to in the first place. 



The human impacts have always been clearly visible for all to see – from rising homelessness to longer A&E waiting times. But now we can also get closer than ever before to measuring the impact on the economy as a whole – and using calculations that have even been rubber stamped by the government themselves.



“The big picture here is that the livelihoods of people and communities have been made more bleak as a direct consequence of active government decisions. This should not be allowed to happen again.”

 

This new analysis uses figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). Since 2017, assisted by work at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), the OBR have published the isolated effects of so called ​‘discretionary fiscal policy’ – active government decisions over tax and spending – on GDP growth. New NEF analysis has compounded these in-year effects on growth to estimate the effect on the overall level of GDP, both in total and broken down per household and per individual in the economy (see table below).

This analysis pertains to the isolated effects of discretionary fiscal policy – active changes to levels of tax and spending – before taking into account any subsequent unwinding of these effects. Normally, the effects of fiscal policy would be expected to unwind over time, largely due to any necessary offsetting action taken from the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). However, there is a broad consensus among economists that the ability of the MPC to respond to negative shocks has diminished due to interest rates reaching their effective lower bound since 2009

The upshot is that many economist agree monetary policy has been unable to offset most, let alone all, of the damage from austerity to date.

It may be that the Chancellor meets his deficit reduction targets this year. We will have to wait and see. But ironically, the damage caused in doing so – in terms of weaker GDP and therefore government tax receipts over the past nine years – is also the reason that the majority of targets have also been missed since 2010.

Either way, the bigger picture is that the livelihoods of people and communities have been made bleaker as a direct consequence of the actions from their own government. Next time must be different.

What does the Independent Group stand for?

In a statement of independence, setting out their values and approach, they promised to “pursue policies that are evidence-based, not led by ideology, taking a long-term perspective to the challenges of the 21st century in the national interest, rather than locked in the old politics of the 20th century in the parties’ interests”.

“As an Independent Group we aim to recognise the value of healthy debate, show tolerance towards different opinions and seek to reach across outdated divides and build consensus to tackle Britain’s problems,” the group pledged.

the reality is they stand for very little and are only united in few things amongst them undermining Jeremy Corbyn , the continuation of austerity and perverting the result of the referendum by trying to stop the UK leaving the EU.

 

 

 

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