Cuts in the UK have harmed many of the most disadvantaged, including people who are disabled or low-paid. If a Conservative-led government takes power, further reductions and privatisation are likely to have a harsh impact on middle-income households too.
The scale of public spending cuts proposed by UK Chancellor George Osborne is shocking, but we shouldn’t be surprised. Not because such savage cuts are necessary, but because to many in government they are desirable.
As the nation’s attention is increasingly focused on the plight of people in flood-affected areas, one strand of political opinion, usually quite vocal, has remained noticeably silent. Advocates of low tax and low public spending have had little to say faced with a situation which demands a huge response from the full range of public services.
Because of the bedroom tax, many much-needed affordable homes may be demolished, despite the housing shortage. The Observer reports that several housing associations, unable to let three-bedroom homes because of this controversial UK government measure, are planning to knock some of these down or considering doing so.
David Cameron's warm words about co-opting churches into plugging the gaps in social provision resulting from his administration's antipathy to the state and the services it provides, have recently taken something of a knock from his own MPs in East Anglia.