Why can the country not afford the things that it could afford fifty years ago? Why have we to work longer hours and see our pensions cut? Why do so many suffer zero hours contracts? Why are libraries and youth clubs closed? Why are students pushed into tens of thousands of pounds of debt? Is it really necessary to cut benefits again and again and to drive people to foodbanks and to payday loan sharks?
The government says that all these things are necessary. It plans to cut another billion pounds a year from public spending. Today’s young workers, if they are lucky enough to get some kind of a job, will have to work till they are 70 before they qualify for a state pension. Their private pension, if they can afford one, will have been drained dry by the boys and girls in the City who have supposedly been managing it.
There will be further pressure on young people to take any job at any price or work for nothing. And it is all necessary, says multimillionaire Chancellor George Osborne (pictured), because we can’t afford a welfare state any more.
Is the country really broke? Is the country poorer now than it was fifty years ago? No, of course it isn’t. The country is now thirty times wealthier than in 1970 when we could afford all the things we apparently can’t afford now. What is different is who has got the money. We haven’t got it because George Osborne and his pals have. Since the 1970s the richest have been getting richer and richer. One per cent of the population now get 20% of all the country’s income, four times as much as they got in the 1970s. And they will not pay for a welfare state.