The Cuts Won’t Work
Laura // 13 October 2010
The Cuts Won’t Work (Facebook) provides links to campaigns against the Coalition’s cuts, and suggests five other ways to deal with the current financial situation (edited version, see more on the website):
About 1 in 5 of our workforce are in the public sector, and if they lose their jobs, they stop spending, their local shop goes out of business, the government loses their income tax and VAT and if there aren’t enough private-sector jobs to pick up the slack the economy grinds to a halt.
Britain still has the fifth largest economy in the world and the third largest reserve currency – we’re really in no danger of losing our AAA credit rating. And since most of our debt is owed internally (to British pension companies) we’re not going to end up like Greece with foreign banks determining our economic future. Economics involves a lot of guesswork, and predictions can end up being self-fulfilling prophecies.
That’s not to say that all public spending is good spending.
In fact, some of it is actually quite evil, like the £888m a year in subsidies we give to the arms trade, or the £6bn a year we’re about to sign away to replace Trident – our nuclear warheads.
Here’s a smart idea: a tiny ‘Robin Hood’ tax on financial transactions that will stop stock brokers destroying whole currencies and raise billions a year to fund schools and hospitals and youth centres. Raising the top band of income tax from 40% to 60% (the level it was at under Thatcher) would raise £19bn a year, while a one-off 10% levy on the £77bn in profits that the richest 1000 Brits made last year would raise £7.7bn – enough to stop all the cuts they’re proposing this year.
**INVEST IN PEOPLE (it’s cheaper in the long run)**
When we spend money on public services we’re not throwing money away – we’re investing in people so those people can play a role in making our society function. Without education, people can’t do skilled jobs. Without healthcare, people get sick and become unable to work. It’s way more expensive to put kids and drug addicts in jail than to run youth centres and treatment programmes. If we cut the services that help people to become independent and productive members of society then we could end up having to support them forever. That would cost loads.