We were constantly told that “we are all in this together” – that austerity but have been harsh and tough, but we as a society had to “live within our means” in order to have a balanced budget so that we could repay our debts.
It has been nearly a decade since the 2008 crash (2007 saw the credit crunch crisis) and we’ve had 7 years of Tory austerity. Austerity has failed, and with Brexit set to cost our economy billions, austerity was going to be extended for another decade.
Austerity effects the poorest and the most vulnerable in our society. With stagnating earnings (the worst in the Western Developed World), more homeless people, longer waiting times in the NHS (which is predicted to see its biggest crisis this year), less police on the street, public sector workers having a real-term decrease in pay due to the cap they have on their wages…. the list goes on, and it seems to be the rich who are still laughing all the way to the bank.
Austerity was presented as the only choice – we had to cut our way out of this one. But what the paradise papers reveal (and not for the first time) is that we as a nation are being cheated billions and billions of potential tax revenue. Even our Sovereign was caught up in this scandal, with £10m of her money being invested abroad in offshore accounts. The Duchy of Lancaster, which provides the Queen with an income, held funds in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. You can read the full report of this by the BBC by clicking here.
The Paradise Papers have revealed what we all know – Austerity isn’t necessary, it’s a big fat scam and we’ve all been paying to have our public services stripped because the deficit hasn’t been eradicated yet and we’re still borrowing more than we ever have before. Imagine if we had invested into our society. It wasn’t the teachers, doctors, nurses, the police/fire services that plunged our country into economic crisis but the richest, and they’re still getting away with it. We are all paying for the top 1%’s reckless mistakes.
The British people need to reflect and question the political decisions made in the past decade – has it served them well? Are things getting better or worse? Is there a light at the never ending tunnel that is austerity?
Things have to be done differently, enough is enough.
by Berk Bektas
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