A major new study by the London School of Economics (LSE) has confirmed what many have already suspected – that Tory tax measures have resulted in a “significant” transfer of wealth from the poorest sections of society to the richest. Under the Tories, the 1% have avoided any pain caused by the recession, and it is ordinary people who have had to pay for the crisis.
A major new study by the London School of Economics (LSE) has confirmed what many have already suspected – that Tory tax measures have resulted in a “significant” transfer of wealth from the poorest sections of society to the richest.
According to the LSE, changes to benefits and taxes have cost the poorest 5% in Britain at least 3% of what they would have earned under the pre-2010 system. The better-off have under the same system gained by between 1.2% and 2%. The report confirms that any gains through tax cuts were all made at the expense of cuts to benefits and tax credits.
Ironically, the report also notes that none of these changes to taxes have reduced the government’s deficit – the mantra of the Tories – but rather just funded this shift in who gains. Some workers gained from the raising of the tax threshold but have then seen these gains more than taken away by changes to benefits and tax credits.
Under the Tories, the rich have avoided any pain caused by the recession. The bill for the crisis which their system created has simply been shifted onto the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society – in the national interest.
This process has been followed through with a particular viciousness. The crisis in housing shows this. According to Danny Dorling (in his book Inequality and the 1%), by 2015 around 40,000 more families will suffer conditions of overcrowding. Councils are being pressurised to take council-tax defaulters to court irrespective of their personal circumstances and degree of vulnerability. These attacks on working class living standards are starting to have a physical effect – the ONS has confirmed that life expectancy for those aged 65 and over is now, as of 2012, falling.
These are the real consequences of this regime of Tory-austerity. We are not “all in it together.” It is a process designed to support capitalism in its age of crisis. That is why we must fight it.