Sunday, 31 August 2014
The Cost Of Britain's "Success"
The Tories like to talk in terms of "success", "competition" and "hard working families" but do not like to discuss the costs of their policies. So how "successful" is Britain? It is the fourth most unequal developed country in the world. Pay has fallen three times faster in Britain than in all but three of EU countries - Greece, Portugal and Spain. Briton's work the third longest hours in the EU for the second lowest wages in the OECD. We have the third highest housing costs, the highest train fares and the second highest levels of fuel poverty. We have the highest level of child mortality in the industrialised world and the worst levels of child poverty while our pensioners are the fourth poorest. The gap between the richest and poorest in Britain is twice as high as any other EU country and yet we manage to retain the title as the least productive industrialised nation in Europe. We can now understand what the Tories are talking about. "Success" is measured only in terms of how rich they and their corporate pals are getting. "Competition" is actually nothing more than a cover for lowering wages and shovelling as much money from us to them as possible. "Hard working families" are, it must be admitted, very hard working but, then again, they have no choice in the matter. The Tories are wedded to the idea that inequality is natural and necessary if we are to remain "competitive". The reality is that inequality is not natural, as all our EU partners demonstrate on a daily basis, and, far from being necessary, is in fact a dead hand that slows our growth and undermines our economic performance. The Tories are wrong and they know it but persist in their insane economic policies because it benefits them and their rich backers and only them and their rich backers.