What many suspected has now been confirmed, whichever way people vote in the next Westminster General election in 2015, they will be stuck with effectively the same government following the same policies, and an end will finally be put to universal benefits and the end of the welfare state. Austerity measures will still carry on, the poor will continue to be made poorer and the rich will continue to be made richer.
As Alistair Darling as the chancellor of the last Labour government had said, the measures he and Labour planned would cut deeper and further than even Margaret Thatcher would not have dared dream about.
They left a legacy which allowed measures they had taken, such as the piloting of what is now commonly known as the bedroom tax, their welfare reform bill allowed for the persecution of the unemployed, and their introduction of ATOS meant the disabled were targeted to terrible effect and consequence.
The Tories along with their Lib Dem partners have grasped the baton eagerly from Labour and have taken full advantage of measures already in place, and extended these much further in many cases.
For those of you hanging on in there, and hoping that these measures will be reversed by a new Labour government in 2015, you can forget that pipe dream, it aint going to happen. Ed Balls has confirmed that today in his speech. He was quoted this morning saying the coalition’s cuts would be the starting point for any incoming Labour government, so his plans will be if anything worse than the Tories.
He continued to say ““We can now expect to inherit an economy with families under real financial pressure, businesses that have lost vital opportunities to invest, and public finances in poor shape, despite deep cuts to vital public services. This will require a very different kind of Labour government to those which have gone before. We will have to govern with much less money around. We will need to show an iron discipline.”
In effect, they will carry on with the cuts and the austerity.
Universal benefits such a the pensioners winter allowance will be severely curtailed, and in some cases removed. Labour in scotland with their cuts commission are looking at removing bus passes, reintroducing student fees, very probably to the same level as students in England now have to pay. and do not see universal benefits such as free prescriptions as being maintainable.
We do not know what any Westminster government will do further, but rest assured it is not going to be any better for the vast amount of the population.
In England and Wales the NHS is being privatised, the Royal Mail is being sold off, sections of the police force is being privatised, the list goes on.
Those that hopefully cling to the reassurance that a nationalist governemnt in Edinburgh will protect us from some of the worst of these measures they can have influence on, can get that idea out of their heads.
There is something called Barnett consequentials, where the devolved Scottish budget is proportionate to what is spent in the rest of the UK. What is spent on the English NHS for instance, Scotlands budget is 10% of that. But think on… 10% of zero is zero! So as the NHS is dismantled, as spending is reduced on education, when police and fire budgets are cut, so Scotlands budget is reduced accordingly. The money used to provide for the state, is now transferred to private ownership, and private companies and their investors are the ones who gain. The Scottish government will no longer be able to provide.
In effect Devolution becomes increasingly worthless and toothless. We end up with so called powers we cannot use.
Those that are taken in by vague promises from Labour, the Tories, The Lib Dems that something better will be available should we reject Independence, the Devo MAxPlus something option need to waken up and smell the coffee. We in Scotland will have only two options…more and worse of the same, indefinitely, or to say enough is enough, and vote to create the sort of country we aspire to, with social justice and fairness built into its fabric.
The choice we face could not be starker!
Stay..and we face a continued Balls up, and our social fabric ripped to shreds
Believe in ourselves, and believe in a fair and just society, where everyone is treated with humanity, dignity and fairness. Where we aspire to better ourselves and allow our children to have an equal chance.