George Osborne gave his autumn statement, saying “Thanks to the sacrifice and endeavour of the British people, I can today report the hard evidence that shows our economic plan is working.”
There is plenty of sacrifice and endeavour going on in Sheffield. An increasing proportion of people are working for low pay in everything from catering to care. The council is planning for more than £100 million of cuts. Food banks are appearing around the city and nearly half our libraries are set to close. Evidence of the plan working is easier to come by further south. Last year, 2,700 city bankers earned £830 000, including an average pay rise of 35 per cent.
Meanwhile Boris Johnson says we need to accept inequality will accentuate as we try to attract the super –rich and major global corporations. He talks about how much they contribute in taxes, ignoring that they do their best to avoid it and if more ordinary workers were paid at least a living wage, they too would be better able to contribute.
The simple stereotype of the country being run by out-of-touch millionaires seems rather accurate to me. We should demand actions that will lead to a better economy, not just a bigger one – a universal living wage, decent funding for public services from fair taxes on those can afford it and benefits that allow those that cannot find work to make ends meet. Osborne’s plan will only ever work for the wealthy few.