The autumn of austerity?

So #Budget15 has been announced, and it left me pretty cold, in every sense.  There was much talk about recovery, and the end of austerity, and the sacrifices that were imposed on us.  I knew how it would go and the radio was switched off as soon as the Budget speech began.

The end of austerity?

Or just fallen leaves?

Do you see the recovery?  I see it in the city centre shops, in busy restaurants, in the shiny new cars on the road, and the white vans parked up as yet another trophy home gets a revamp.

Yes there is a recovery, but not a real one.  This is a recovery for the lucky few.

I won't believe in it until everything changes.

When I no longer see posts on Facebook from friends who have no money - today - for medicine and heat for a sick child.

When our young people stop leaving.  And start coming back.

When there is a social welfare payment for the self employed who lose their businesses.

When I stop hearing desperate people ringing radio stations because they are in excruciating pain with no date for the operation they need, while operating theatres lie empty.

The saddest thing of all is that this crisis could have been an opportunity.  A chance to sweep away all the existing bureaucracies, to create a fairer society, with a simpler tax and benefits system - perhaps even the introduction of basic income.  Instead there was the usual tinkering around the edges, with increases in some taxes and charges, and reductions in others.  Even sensible suggestions were ignored, such as restoring the respite grant to carers, or introducing a vacant sites tax to encourage more house-building.  It was a Budget for the business lobby groups with a nod to the next election, though most of us laughed at that.

There was so much more that I wanted to say, but family matters are getting in the way.  The Budget could have helped with them too.  But it didn't.

6 comments:

  1. There is so much more that they can do - but their improvements are in the wrong places, and too little too late. :/ Unfortunately it seems that is the status quo with this government so I can't see it improving any time soon...

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  2. Excellent blog.
    I assume you're talking about Ireland - you could be talking about the UK too. A recovery for the few - how true that is.

    I don't think there'll be any sweeping away of he systems that have become so seemingly entrenched in the last 20 years or so. I vaguely remember the recession of the early/mid 90s, but once it had ended things seemed to bounce back so much quicker. This time round it feels like things won't bounce back as those elite ruling powers that be have used the crisis (that their own kind caused) as an excuse for austerity - which has made society so much less caring than it was.

    The future is actually quite terrifying x

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    1. Thanks Christina. The situation in the UK worries me even more and I keep trying to blog about it, and every time I think I've got a handle on it, there's a new vicious twist. And I agree about the future being terrifying x

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  3. Yes, there is a bit of recovery but like you say it's only for a few, it hasn't trickled down to the 'little people' yet :-(
    It was a neutral budget for some who were lucky enough to get some gains from the changes simply to cover the new Water Tax. But for those with children over 18 and in college, also with Water Tax to pay, lost. I'm sure there were others too. xx

    PS: I will have to remove you from my blogroll.
    Only to add you again as your latest post never appears on my sidebar!

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    1. Yes I lost here alright :( And I've had problems with Blogger not showing all posts in my sidebar too. Also I had to remove 'most popular posts' as they were consistently wrong! xx

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