This is permanent austerity
None of the Chancellor’s post-election assumptions have turned out to be true. Growth has stalled, the Eurozone has crashed, the structural deficit bigger than thought and unemployment continues to rise as the private sector fails to take up the public sector slack.
The Chancellor’s stubborn determination to stick to his plan despite the evidence that it is not working and won’t work in the future means that we are locked into permanent austerity.
Of course there were some welcome moves in the statement as the Chancellor tries to reinvent infrastructure spending, youth employment and regional assistance programmes.
But the catch is that they are being paid for by freezing tax credits, holding back public sector pay and steeping up public sector job losses to 710,000 by 2017 according to the OBR. Those with the broadest backs who caused the crash have escaped once again.
His refusal to back a Robin Hood tax and make nurses pay instead speaks volumes about his values. Public servants are no longer being asked to make a temporary sacrifice, but accept a permanent deep cut in their living standards that will add up to 16.5% by 2014 when you include pay and pension contributions.
It is no wonder that the government has alienated its entire workforce who are coming together in unprecedented unity tomorrow to take a stand against such unfair treatment.