The UK has two welfare states. There is one that is reported and endlessly discussed, and another, which is rarely mentioned. Whilst the first is suffering enormous cuts under the Tory/LD coalition, the other just keeps expanding.
Comedian, author and activist Rob Newman explains to the New Internationalist magazine (May 2013):
Governments on the left and the right can always justify welfare cuts by pitting, for example, mobility scooters against needle exchanges, or the soft-play area in childrens playgrounds against an old peoples home. Who deserves it most, they say, students or cleaners? Old or young? But when were running not one, but two welfare states, thats a totally fake scenario. The real choice is between playgrounds or gas rigs; between Meals on Wheels or The City of London Currency Speculators Maintenance Allowance.
Theres a connection never mentioned between, lets say, Britains eight new deep-water gas rigs and its 200 new food banks. The connection is that the $4.5 billion subsidy package being doled out to transnational gas corporations is a very big slice of the welfare pie. And to keep the gas transnationals on the benefits to which they are addicted, hungry humans have to queue for tinned food that is too close to its sell-by date to be kept on the shelves of supermarkets, many of which are themselves massive recipients of corporate welfare.
Not only does the UK pay out unemployment benefits less generous than Romania, Albania and the US, but the wages of the employed have simply not kept pace with productivity over the last 30yrs. Tory Ideology is all about Handouts to the Wealthy paid for by the Poor
Meanwhile, the corporate sector sits on a colossal cash surplus of £800bn but without investing because the real problem continues to be the lack of aggregate demand and the richest 100 UK citizens, only 0.0003% of the electorate, now have wealth estimated at £257bn.
Nevertheless, George Osborne has been prepared to cut £18bn from benefits plus a further £81bn from public services in the name of unavoidable austerity, whilst at the same time providing huge subsidies, tax cuts and removing regulation for the hidden welfare system that benefits the private sector.
No goods or services are directly returned to the government in exchange for these expenditures, although of course, politicians will argue that theyre stimulating the economy, helping struggling industries, creating jobs or funding important research but actually this is just a corporate welfare system.
The Cato Institute estimated that in the US, $93 billion were devoted to corporate welfare in 2002. This was about 5% of the federal budget and nearly twice the amount spent on social welfare ie. feeding people, housing the homeless, raising children out of poverty
It's obvious that it is just too much for people to read and comprehend. Only when they make the connection between there OWN position/predicament will they fully understand. Within a very short time, perhaps less than 15 years, they will be wondering why they didn't see it coming.
Very interesting article, nothing much to add apart from the fact that I agree with it.