by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Austerity is being used as a cover-story for class war against the poor
Austerity and deficit reduction are being used as a cover-story for conducting class war against the poor as simultaneous reductions in taxes on the wealthy and cuts to spending on social security amount to a redistribution of wealth away from the poor to the rich.
Austerity – and the supposed need for it – is being used by the powers-that-be (but shouldn't be) as a narrative to conduct class war and to make the poor poorer still.
To be talking about reducing the state further when effectively what you are doing is reducing taxes like inheritance tax, corporation taxes, and the like, that is to say you are giving tax breaks and gift to the already rich, the oligarchs and the corporations, while at the same time you are cutting benefits, social housing, and other things that benefit the poorer in society then that is class war, pure and simple.
Under David Cameron in the UK the Conservatives have cut the top rate of income tax paid by the wealthiest, and pledged to cut inheritance tax for estates of up to £1m.
Corporation tax has also been dramatically reduced, while VAT, a flat tax, has gone up. £12bn cuts to the social security budget are in the pipeline. The income tax allowance has been increased and council tax frozen in most areas. While a freeze in council tax also benefits the poorer it mostly benefits those of the larger houses. At the same time there are cuts made, or proposed, to reduce the council tax benefits, housing benefit, and in addition to that there is the “bedroom tax”.
Even the former head of the civil service, Lord Turnbull, said deficit reduction was simply a “smokescreen” for a Conservative attack on the state.
A “reduction of the state”, which is what the Tories are playing with, benefits only the rich and powerful and harms those further down the ladder, from the middle-class to the working class, and the latter, and those out of work, are affected worst proportionally. Thus it can be called nothing else but class war, or maybe we could even go as far to call it warfare on the poor.