Last week Theresa May’s government carried on with the attack on the poor, disabled and disadvantaged began by Cameron and Osbourne’s ideological austerity. This attack, as with most others, is targeted toward the weaker and poorer of society.
This move was defended as a cost-cutting measure, using the poor as a means to save money, yet not only have the Tories decided to further impoverish many disadvantaged British citizens, they are simultaneously introducing income tax cuts that will mainly benefit those with wealth.
According to Resolution Foundation, 80% of these tax giveaways will go to the richer half of households, while the poorest third will shoulder 67% of the cuts to support.
The fact the Tories keep cutting from the lowest tiers of society to introduce new tax cuts to the highest tiers of society should be of no surprise to anyone now, since Cameron announced austerity in 2010 the government has repeatedly done exactly this.
What is at least somewhat surprising is the callous nature of these cuts and who they are targeted toward.
Such as mourning families. Previously, if a parent was to die families would receive financial support to help raise the child until they turned 18. This has been the case, in some form, since 1946.
Under the new cuts, instead of receiving financial support until the child turns 18, families will now receive support for no longer than 18 months after the parent has died. This is a loss of tens of thousands of pounds for some bereaved families.
Also, despite massive protests and reports from the UN that the UK is conducting a systematic violation of disabled rights, the Tories are continuing with their abhorrent attacks on disabled people.
Now, an estimated 500,000+ disabled people will have £29.05 less per week if they’re deemed fit for ‘WRAG’ (work-related activity). Obviously this assessment is not completed by a doctor or medical professional, but an automated system conducted by an office worker.
As well as targeting the disabled and bereaved, the Tories have also decided the best way to save money is to potentially force thousands of young people onto the streets. Jobseekers aged 18-21 will be blocked from gaining Housing Benefit, which is always paid directly to the landlord. Many young adults are now faced with the inability to pay their rent, and potentially homelessness.
I like to think the conservatives can’t truly understand the effects these cuts will have on people’s lives because they live in such a small bubble of privilege; but considering how many advisors they have, how many protests have occurred and how the media have (generally) responded I think that may be wishful thinking.
It’s far more likely they know exactly the suffering and hardship these cuts will bring, and they simply think the pitiful money saved (to be handed to the wealthy in tax cuts) is more important.
Deaths, homelessness, suffering and poverty. This is Cameron’s legacy, and May is more than happy to carry on.