A brief view of the budget

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He’s not very bright our chancellor, is he? Self-employed people face an increase in their National Insurance (NI) contributions as the Chancellor says he wants to “tackle the unfair burden on people in employment”. Presumably he means self employed people are not in employment. Yet they certainly aren’t included in unemployment figures, either. Last time I checked, employment means “the state of having paid work.”

That’s yet another broken manifesto pledge.

Gutto Bebb, Conservative Welsh minister, hit out at the proposals and called on the Government to “apologise.” Iain Duncan Smith added his voice to calls for a rethink of proposed changes to the National Insurance contributions after Hammond suggested that Brexit is responsible for the Government’s tax raid – conveniently mentioning Brexit for the first time regarding his budget. But he later denied that self-employed workers were paying the price for Brexit. Hard to keep up with what passes as the Conservative brand of reasoning and justification. It certainly makes me feel dizzy and nauseous, that’s for sure.

Hammond could have simply reduced the rate of NI that employees pay instead. He’s a bit of a wally. We did have a period of economic growth last year, second to only Germany, apparently. Good old Tories, eh?  Hurrah!

But I wonder who will benefit from that, assuming it’s really a growth in the economy? It won’t be disabled people claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP) with severe psychological distress who can’t leave the house, that’s for sure. Or those suffering epilepsy, both types of diabetes and blackouts who need support with managing their treatments and monitoring their health conditions.

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A period of Orwellian growth. The economy is currently being propped up by increasing personal debt.  

All of these conditions in fact: Diabetes mellitus (category unknown), Diabetes mellitus Type 1 (insulin dependent), Diabetes mellitus Type 2 (non-insulin dependent), Diabetic neuropathy, Diabetic retinopathy, Disturbances of consciousness – Nonepileptic – Other / type not known, Drop attacks, Generalised seizures (with status epilepticus in last 12 months), Generalised seizures, (without status epilepticus in last 12 months), Narcolepsy, Non epileptic Attack disorder (pseudoseizures), Partial seizures (with status epilepticus in last 12 months), Partial seizures (without status epilepticus in last 12 months), Seizures – unclassified Dizziness – cause not specified, Stokes Adams attacks (cardiovascular syncope), Syncope – Other / type not known.

And these:  Mood disorders – Other / type not known, Psychotic disorders – Other / type not known, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective disorder, Phobia – Social Panic disorder, Learning disability – Other / type not known, Generalized anxiety disorder, Agoraphobia, Alcohol misuse, Anxiety and depressive disorders – mixed Anxiety disorders – Other / type not known, Autism, Bipolar affective disorder (Hypomania / Mania), Cognitive disorder due to stroke, Cognitive disorders – Other / type not known, Dementia, Depressive disorder, Drug misuse, Stress reaction disorders – Other / type not known, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Phobia – Specific Personality disorder, Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

What kind of government cuts support for those needing help to manage medication, monitor a health condition, or both?

What kind of government cuts mobility support for people who can’t leave the house alone?

It seems that most people who are actually ill won’t be eligible for PIP. I wonder which people the government have in mind when they say “those in greatest need”?

Oh, it’s the millionaires again. Phew! Silly me.

From the Equality Trust:

pie wealth

The poorest people lose out from the budget yet again, of course. The distribution of wealth won’t change, with many households in the lowest deciles being worse off. The graph above does not show the full extent of the difference between the richest and the rest of society. This is because the top 1% have incomes substantially higher than the rest of those in the top 10%. In 2012, the top 1% had an average income of £253,927 and the top 0.1% had an average income of £919,882.

If you earn a few hundred thousand, you are set to do rather well yet again from another Tory budget. It’s remarkable how those need it least always get the financial “incentive” isn’t it?  Carrots for the fat cats.  It’s the delux model of “incentives”.

Meanwhile those who need it most pay for those who need it least. Poor people get the budget premium “incentive”, which includes standing on the naughty step, and thinking about what you have not done.

The Tories like wielding a stout stick and giving out a good thrashing for those who dare to fall ill. 

And just to clarify, social justice, equality and inclusion are NOT the same thing as work. They should exist independently of someone’s employment status. Otherwise, “inclusion” takes an Orwellian turn to the far right. We know from history that work doesn’t really set us free. People “enjoying the security and dignity of work” does not entail ensuring those who can’t work or who lost their job are utterly insecure, hungry or destitute. 

The government’s “pledge” to increase adult social care funding is being paid for by increases in council tax, some of which will be paid by those previously exempted from council tax because they are sick, disabled or unemployed. Social security was originally calculated to meet only the cost of fuel and food on the assumption that people needing support would be exempt from rent and council tax. That no longer is the case.

The rises due to come into force from April will not be sufficient to avoid strapped for cash councils having to make deep cuts to essential services, including road repair, parks, children’s centres, leisure centres and libraries. All of this in a time of “economic growth”. It looks like austerity is to be a permanent feature of Conservative neoliberal policy-making.

For many families who are just about managing, the withdrawal of state support for those who are in low paid work is hardly an incentive to “make work pay”. Of course Hammond has ignored the scandal of in-work poverty. This is one of the other austerity measures that he has chosen to keep. Introducing sanctions for those claiming social security because their employers don’t pay them enough to live on is simply a big bully’s stick, which would be better aimed at exploitative and miserly big business employers. Fancy punishing people because profit driven businesses pay as little as possible. 

It’s all the same peevish and spiteful mentality as “making work pay.” Instead of ensuring workers get a decent rate of pay, like you’d think from the Tory claim, the truly nasty party cut benefits and decided to impose punishing conditions on people who need state support indiscriminately, regardless of the reason, instead.

That’s pure upper class prejudice and malice.

And greed. 

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Meet Brexit, by the way, he’s the big elephant in the room, Mr Hammond


 

I don’t make any money from my work. I am disabled because of illness  and have a very limited income. The budget didn’t do me any favours at all.

But you can help by making a donation to help me continue to research and write informative, insightful and independent articles, and to provide support to others. The smallest amount is much appreciated – thank you.

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13 thoughts on “A brief view of the budget

  1. Well they can’t screw over the unemployed sick incapacitated and disabled anymore, they have to actually make payments to a few of them to make it look like we have some sort of welfare system. The next lot that are an easy target is the self employed, after all they couldn’t possibly go after the bankers and the tory party donors could they.

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  2. Don’t forget those of us with progressive neurological conditions.Neurological patients are slipping through the net as witnessed by Neurological Alliance survey.Clearly those of us with chronic neurological conditions are having their care thtreatened.The Fact that Sativex prescription has been privatised-not in Wales though means people do not have access for it.The alternative of a legally regulated Medical Cannabis Act would probably save the NHS millions.Many neurological patients under current law are treated like a criminal fo the charge of having a disability.

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  3. You know, apparently Corbyn is a really decent bloke with honest principles
    that I believe in. This makes him unelectable. So to be electable by the rest
    of the public he needs to embody all the disgusting qualities that give rise to
    all the outcomes you described. So if he did have those qualities the rest of the
    public would elect him. But we have already got those disgusting qualities . I dont want
    those disgusting qualities. So I will vote for those honest principles, not like the rest
    of the public.

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  4. Those in need bring out the best in most people.
    Those in need in the UK, bring out the worst in the Tories,
    and quite possibly, also in those who vote for them.

    Isn’t it bizarre how the Tories accuse their political opponents of being divisive.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’ve just applied for PIP, they got my form two weeks ago. I have a phobia about leaving the house due to being terrified I’m going to take ill or go blind (diabetic retinopathy). When I do dare venture out for necessary medical appointments I have to take my mother with me as she knows my medical history and doctors are so pushed for time they won’t have time to read my notes and see I have bad reactions to neuroleptic drugs and can’ have needles in my feet or left arm (diabetes and haemodialysis fistula).

    But that said, apparently I’m not really ill, not according to that ignorant Tory wanker recently. So now I’m wondering if I’m going to be left high and dry, financially, because of this governments ideological malice. No wonder the medical assessors ask why people haven’t topped themselves yet, they’re trying to leave us with no other options.

    This isn’t stupidity on Hammond’s part – though no doubt he is a colossal halfwit – it’s an arrogant flannel job. He’s pissing down your leg and telling you it’s raining. These fuckers get away with murder and you’ll barely see any negative reporting on them, certainly not about dead *benefits scum* and *useless eaters*. Not even the Guardian makes a pretence these days so wonder they have begging letters on their online version. The quicker it goes bust, the better.

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