The UK is becoming a more unequal society with higher levels of debt than ever before. The government’s own forecasters, the Office for Budget Responsibility, predict household debt will rise even higher than before the crash, fuelling an unsustainable, debt-led recovery.
The headline increase in the personal allowance will do nothing for the 5m lowest paid workers who are already below it. Only a quarter of the £2bn cost of the measure will go to the poorest 50% of households. The Treasury’s own analysis shows, once again, the disproportionate impact on low earners, with the poorest 30% worse off due to the combination of tax and benefit changes since 2010.
NEF argues that raising the national minimum wage to the Living Wage standard would lift 4.6m out of poverty wages and, thanks to the boost to their spending, create 30,000 extra jobs.
Those on universal credit will see any increase in take home pay offset through reductions to their benefits – losing 65p for every extra pound they get in take home pay”. She added that “to really help some of the lowest paid, the government should increase the amount people are allowed to earn before universal credit is withdrawn and slow down the rate at which it is reduced as people’s earnings increase. Gingerbread’s research has found this is particularly important for those struggling with high childcare costs.
Corporate interests over climate: NEF says –
A £1.3bn tax cut for North Sea oil operators, including some of the largest corporations on the planet, further undermines the Prime Minister’s boast of “the greenest government ever”. The UK has always undertaxed the immense natural resource of the North Sea, effectively squandering billions to boost company profits. If we had applied the same rate of a successful major producer like Norway over the last decade, £118bn would have been raised.
National Debt: Top google hits from last year, eg telegraph.co.uk and guardian.com , concur that Osborne was last year set to miss deficit reduction target for 2014/2015 after borrowing rises in first three months of fiscal year.
I wish I could find a simple clear graph showing the rise in the national debt under Osborne as compared to Labour from 1997 to 2010.