The harshness of the Budget whilst anticipated nevertheless shocked in terms of its severity and its blatant attacks on the poor and the vulnerable. Of course we were only looking at the revenue implications of the Coalition’s plans and the real impact of public spending cuts have yet to be spelt out. The idea that you can reduce the spending of some Departments by 25% or more is fantastically not just to those who work in the public sector but to all who use them. However the Budget by raising VAT, freezing child benefit and cutting a whole range of other benefits is targeted at the poor.
Don’t let anyone be fooled that the Lib Dems have had any influence over the ideological stance demonstrated all too clearly as marking the footprint of this regime. Minor alterations to income tax for low earners and bolstering tax credits will do little to take away the pain of the savagery of the cuts in the standard of the living of the least well off in our society.
At the same time the expected increase in capital gains tax was moderated and no attempt was made to nail the tax dodgers in the media, amongst non-doms and bankers. It must be remembered that it is the aim of the Tories to end inheritance tax one of the few really progressive taxes still left.
I hope that we can now begin to see the beginning of the end of this dreadful Coalition. The Tories at least have shown their pathological hatred of the public sector but for the Lib Dems to back this just highlights how much their leadership has sold out to the worst of motivations. I hope that the Trade Unions rather than talking about how they might organise a campaign of opposition now start in earnest to protect not just their members but every right thinking person. For those of us who entered politics to protect the poor and end poverty this is a bitter and sad day for all who care. Lib Dems at least should be ashamed of themselves.