I don’t make a habit of “links posts”, but here are a few responses to the budget that have caught my eye today, until I have time to write anything myself:
- David Byrne at Compass: the budget is “completely and utterly wrong in macro-economic terms” and “will be regressive”; but Labour is “flailing about” in the absence of a credible alternative to the deflationary orthodoxy. Byrne also links this article by Tory peer Lord Skidelsky warning of the need to keep pumping money into the economy – a warning the chancellor has chosen to ignore.
- Shelter on how the reforms to housing benefit could “push many households over the edge, triggering a spiral of debt, eviction and homelessness”.
- The FT on one of the “real little horrors” buried in the fine print: the proposal to cut housing benefit by 10% for those who’ve been on the dole for a year: “It basically delivers an ultimatum to hundreds of thousands of long term unemployed: find a job or move house. This is the Cameroon version of ‘on yer bike'”.
- David Osler on a budget “purposely designed to bring about the withering away of the welfare state”, going far beyond anything attempted by Margaret Thatcher: “This is a move for which no obvious parallel in twentieth century British history comes to mind. Cuts of this magnitude can only have wideranging impact on the fabric of the life of this country.”
- A personal perspective from someone whose employment and financial prospects have been devastated by the budget: multiply this story by hundreds of thousands to get the real picture of what this government is already doing to people.
I commend this post to the house.