26 Oct

I need someone to explain something to me. Well, quite a lot of somethings actually, but let’s start at this one.
There’s a lot of talk in high government places about huge sums of money and how to save them by fiddling with various benefits. One of them is the strange world of tax credits.
Tax credits have always been a mystery to me. I’d have thought that if a person was working and paid for that work the wages should surely more than equal the cost of living. But apparently some businesses don’t see it that way and like to pay wages that are less than what is needed for a man to feed, clothe and house himself and any family he might have. So instead of paying some of his meagre income in taxes he receives a tax credit that helps him out.
In my rather simple imagination I revisit (in my mind) my ancestors who hunted and gathered in order to remain alive. And that was their work and the meat/veggies they brought home had to be sufficient to keep their families alive or someone died. So back then even the most boring bit of hunting, where prey was hard to find and the sun beat down remorselessly from a bright blue sky scorching his bald patch, had to provide enough. There were no credits of any sort back then. Life was both hard but fair. The rich needed to hunt too.
So how have we come to a state of affairs when it isn’t? A man (or woman) goes out to work, toils away with his sweeping brush and at the end of the day he needs his wages topping up. How’s this come about?
Is it the truth that those who pay his wages are so poor themselves that poverty is all they can afford to provide him with in his buff envelope? Or is his work of so trivial a nature that he really ought to find something else? I mean, he (or maybe she) probably only cleans hospitals…
But wait: it’s the richest one or two percent of the population who pay the poorest their wages. It’s those who have who decide what those who don’t have are worth. It’s the millionaire who drives down the income of the home with the hungry kids in it.
Now the Government wants to save money and they have stated that they can save four billion pounds by tinkering with the benefits, and nobody is going to lose out, nobody is going to be a brass farthing poorer, according to their sums. Mind you, many of them were schooled at Eton and maybe their maths isn’t as good as it ought to be…
Four billion pounds is an awful lot of money. Think how many Cruise Missiles it could buy…
But my question is, and this is what all the above preamble has been waiting for, if nobody’s going to lose out, if the poor aren’t going to get a penny poorer, where is the four billion pounds coming from?
It’s a mystery to me. Maybe they’ve discovered a kind of fiscal magic spell that solves all our problems. Or maybe they’re a load of lying, cheating, deceitful bastards who don’t see why those beneath them (in their opinion) shouldn’t go hungry.
They’ll be taking away the right for health care for those who can’t afford it next. See if they don’t.
They’re tories, and that’s the tory way.
© Peter Rogerson 26.10.15


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