With everyone spouting aspiration, what’s in it for the 20 million in poverty?

According to the official Office of National Statistics’ latest report 19.3 million persons in the UK had an income below 60% of the national median at some point during 2010-13.   That is nearly a third of the entire population, and a higher proportion than for the EU as a whole.   The UK figures are even higher for pensioners (40%) and single-parent households (60%).   These statistics are awful for the sixth largest economy in the world, but there is a deeper hypocrisy behind them.    At the general election the Tory manifesto and Cameron’s speeches resonated with calls for aspiration for everyone.   So what are the aspirational chances for the 20 million people at the bottom of the pile when Osborne’s first act in the new government is to target them?    It has equally to be admitted that among Labour’s leadership contestants the air has been thick with expostulations of aspiration for all.   How is that compatible with continued support for austerity which hits the poorest hardest?   

What makes this sanctimonious pretence of aspiration for all so bitter is that Osborne is now statutorily blocking off any contribution to deficit reduction from the very rich.   He is going out of his way by gratuitously using a parliamentary bill to emphasise there will no increase in taxes in the next 5 years.    In terms of financial management that is a very silly move when the future state of the economy over the next 5 years is unknowable, but it does reveal just how far this government is prepared to go to squeeze the pips out of the very poor whilst letting the filthy rich off untouched.  

Just how grotesquely unfair and unbalanced this is is exposed by the simple facts: nearly 20 million people in the UK have been living on an income less than £240 a week at some time in the 3 years to 2013 (and the number will be larger in 2013-5 as the cuts have accumulated) whilst there are 100,000 millionaires and 73 billionaires in the UK, Osborne has cut income tax for those on more than £3,000 a week, and the Sunday Times Rich List declares that the providing apprenticeships 1,000 ultra richest persons have doubled their wealth in the last 6 years since the crash to £518 billions (yes, billions) today.   Yet the former who never caused the crash are now being mercilessly targeted whilst the latter who are culpable are given impunity.   Aspiration for all?  How can Cameron and Osborne even spit out the words?
Aspiration for the bottom third means at least a Living Wage, ending zero hours contracts, stopping the aggressive sanctioning of the jobless, repealing the bedroom tax, removing the assessment of work capability for disabled people away from private multinationals and restoring it to the NHS, building houses for social renting at 50% of market rates, providing apprenticeships or in-work training for all young people, and a lot more.   Who eulogising aspiration for all will promise all of these?

4 thoughts on “With everyone spouting aspiration, what’s in it for the 20 million in poverty?

  1. The show goes on it doesnt matter who of the big parties are in austerity was only for those who couldnt afford it yet even when all around feeling this austerity the mps took a payrise which many havent that luxury of their pays being less unbelievable you all talked yourself into it surprise surprise isnt it but now the culling of the weakest can begin in earnest without a tear for those unfortunate souls let the show roll on till the next event ttip were your soul belongs to the yanky companies jeff3

  2. “… living on an income less than £240 a week at some time in the 3 years to 2013 ”
    Loads of people are on far, far less than this, and have been so for more than just 3 years. (I know; I’m one of them)!

    This isn’t doing the economy any good, as people don’t have money to spend, hence shops closing down and businesses failing, with the result that tax revenues are declining.

    So what on earth does this government hope to achieve, by allowing all of this poverty? Or haven’t the facts got through to them? Are they really pleased with themselves for presiding over so much inequality? Do they just want a load of poorly paid workers so that big companies can make more profits (which often go abroad anyway)? Or are they just insensitive, cruel and evil (as many people think)?

  3. There are millions living way under £200 a week in this country! My Daughter has had depression and been unable to work for most of the last year, she had her “P45” and her total annual income was £1.400 she lives in a flat that the government are willing to cover the £400 pounds for in housing benefit to make some rich guy from away so much richer. There are rats in her flat, the door doesn’t lock so anyone can come in, there are electric live wires hanging out of the wall, half the time no lighting as the wiring is so bad no matter how many lightbulbs she buys they just fuse. The landlord does nothing, just sits back raking in more money which at the moment the government are funding via housing benefit. She relies on a local food bank for basics but never has fresh fruit and veg.
    I help as much as I can on a small government pension which is hard.
    The things I see in my area are heartbreaking, we are going g back to Dickensian times!

  4. We now charities taking slaves to stack their shelves salvation no has they all deel in this meat market for the judas monies dwp supplies them with funny world ask for charity get sanctioned ops isnt funny anymore is it whilst our elite take the cake yep that one percent have got richer whilst those ninty nine percent who aint rich felt the austerity jeff3

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