" I presume the finanical chaos left by the former government precludes the current government and councils/local authorities being in a position to relax the imposed charges." Qoth some colonel out in the shires.
The financial chaos we find ourselves in today is that created by high flying gung-ho bankers and their cohorts in the financial markets. The conditions they operated in were laid down by an over-permissive neo-liberal economic system which has blighted poorer people in this country, and abroad for well over a quarter of a century.
Blaming the former government for the deficit is simply swallowing the right-wing propaganda spread by a Tory owned press and acquiescent BBC and visual media. If the UK crisis was created by Labour, how do you then account for Iceland, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Russia and Germany etc...?
Even Brown couldn’t manage that! No, all those countries fell foul of recession and varying degrees of collapse of their financial institutions due to their adherence and over-dependence on the false economy of neo-liberalism.
There are other ways in which this Tory junta could alleviate and deal with the deficit. Incidentally, today’s deficit is a mere 30% of that which the UK had to contend with back in 1945. At that time a Labour government introduced a welfare state – one fit for the heroes returning from war and the heroes who had suffered great deprivation at home – and built 1,000,000 new homes.
Unfortunately, this mob we’ve in now will steal our public services from under our noses, selling them off to their friends in the private sector; this will be the biggest giveaway since Thatcher’s ‘selling off’ of the family silver in the 80s and 90s.
So readers, I beg of you not to be sucked into the great lie that says the only way to pay off the Tory bankers’ deficit is by punishing people who carry out vital public services and taking life enhancing services away from us users. There are a number of ways the Tories could reduce the deficit:
• Introduce a progressive taxation system.
• Go after those who cheat and don’t pay their share – the £6 billion in tax owed by Vodaphone, and then with a stroke of a pen expunged, could have meant councils needn’t make cuts this year. The Vodaphone non-payment is but one amongst scores and hundreds amounting to many scores of billions each year.
• A Robin Hood Tax – a tiny tax of about 0.05% on transactions like stocks, bonds, foreign currency and derivatives. Could raise £250 billion a year globally, or £20 billion in the UK alone. Well-tested, cheap to implement and hard to avoid.
But, why would this Tory regime even bother to consider anything that breaks with their political ideology. An ideology that would rather endure a few years of recession, thus breaking trade union influence, selling off whatever else is left in the public sector, eroding terms and conditions of the majority of workers; thus, ending up with a workforce fit for purpose; one which is badly paid, overworked, poorly valued, but compliant.