The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

by Joshua Gaskell

Tag: The Budget

Sunday, 12th July 2015

The verdict on Osborne’s ‘one-nation budget’ as regards inequality appears to be that it will perpetuate the forty-year trend in the wrong direction. That is, on the average householder’s ledger, the amount credited by an increased minimum wage will be less than that debited by decreased tax credits.

In a speech in February 2011, David Cameron criticised ‘state multiculturalism’ on the grounds that it has ‘encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other’. In 2015 we must ask how great must be the disparity between rich and poor before one says the same of ‘state neoliberalism’?

Cameron was right in that speech to say that ‘we need a clear sense of shared national identity that is open to everyone’, but that’s not possible if we remain, either culturally or economically,

Two nations; between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets; who are formed by a different breeding, are fed by a different food, are ordered by different manners, and are not governed by the same laws. (Sybil, or The Two Nations by Benjamin Disraeli, Cameron’s predecessor as party leader and prime minister)

Excessive inequality is its own sort of multiculturalism, and fighting it would be the properly conservative thing to do.

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Thursday, 9th July 2015

Further to yesterday’s entry, even if I wanted to go into details about the bally budget I don’t think I’d have the heart to. The thing’s too recent. The anguish hasn’t had time to pass.

Wednesday, 8th July 2015

Just Fancy That!

2011: ‘Ministers insist that a generous package of student support – including an increased maintenance grant […] – will ease the burden of degree costs.’

– Telegraph, 12th August 2011

2015: ‘Maintenance grants for university students from low-income families will be scrapped and converted into loans in the Government’s next round of spending cuts.’

– Independent, 8th July 2015

Sunday, 23rd March 2014

After their success with “redefining marriage”, in the latest budget the government now want to redefine what a pension is. For the sake of the historical record, at this present writing a pension is, ‘An annuity or other regular payment made to a retired employee, servant, citizen, etc., by right or in consideration of past services’ (OED). The key word here is ‘regular’, an attribute which pensions currently share with people’s need for food, rent, and fuel. But henceforth, apparently, pension will be synonymous with bank account. The project of liberalising capital in pursuit of ever more personal choice has led to no ill consequences thus far, so I don’t foresee a problem. Perhaps next week we’ll hear of a policy whereby people can retire and receive all their future appetites, bills and cold winter nights in one lump sum too.

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