£60 billion would be cut from things like councils, benefits and social care if the government went ahead with a second round of austerity. Liz Truss’ tax cuts for the rich and big business would have directly led to massive cuts in public spending.
That’s what the think tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, says will happen if the Prime Minister sticks with her disastrous tax cutting budget. After nearly a decade of cuts to public services, and in the middle of this cost of living crisis, more austerity would be disastrous.
There is an alternative
Instead of more cuts, the government should be putting money into services that are creaking at the seams. Seven million people are waiting for a hospital appointment in the UK.
This should be matched by tax increases on those who can afford to pay more. Pressure is already building for the government not to cut the rate of corporation tax, but to move it in line with other rich countries.
Taxing income from wealth at the same level as income from work is a sensible reform. The government could institute a wealth tax on people with over £10 million in assets and end the inheritance tax loopholes open to the well off.
These sensible measures should be first on the list before there is any more austerity.
Inequality is bad for all of us
The wealthy have benefitted hugely in recent years, including during the pandemic.
In this interview ex-City banker Gary Stevenson puts things into perspective. Gary made millions working for Citibank and now campaigns for wealth taxation of the very rich.
He doesn’t think the rich are bad. Instead he argues that inequality is bad for all of us. We cannot keep insulating the mega wealthy whenever the economy hits a downturn.
He’s not alone. Former Conservative Party donor Gareth Quarry thinks tax cuts for the rich should not have been on the agenda in the recent botched budget. As he said "if I can’t pay more than my fair share as a rich guy, what hope is there?”
We are going to continue to push hard for a different approach to the failed ways that we have seen in the recent past.
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