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It mostly covers my work as UNISON Scotland's Head of Policy and Public Affairs although views are my own. For full coverage of UNISON Scotland's policy and campaigns please visit our web site. You can also follow me on Twitter. I hope you find this blog interesting and I would welcome your comments.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Osborne and cuts

So, we are all in this together according to the Chancellor. As proof of this he is cutting £1bn from middle and high earners child benefit.

Sadly this is hugely cynical. The BBC's James Landale gives us a really good analysis of this approach. He says:

"But there will be squeals. Middle England will protest that it unfairly hits single-earner families hardest, that it acts as a disincentive to earn more, that it breaches the principle of universal benefits, that it is an attack on the family, that it is a breach of Mr Osborne's promise last year to "preserve" child benefit.

But the chancellor will not mind this. Why? Because the vocal middle-class anguish - led by vocal middle-class media types - will give him political cover for other cuts that will affect the less well off. This is only the start of a process that will see benefits and spending cut across the piece. Mr Osborne says we are all in this together and he has slaughtered one of welfare's sacred cows to prove it."

If we are really all in this together he would be clamping down on tax avoidance, increasing tax rates for the richest, introducing the Robin Hood Tax and taxing the bankers bonuses. That would bring in serious cash to the Treasury and do away with the need to cut the services we all rely on. But of course that would hit the Chancellor's millionaire pals. A few middle class squeals are a price worth paying to protect them.

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