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post Jun 21 2015, 04:47 PM
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So thousands marched in London yesterday to campaign against the government's austerity cuts. I'm pleased it got much more coverage than I recall a similar (or maybe the same?) event around this time last year. Despite this, the government shows no signs of backing down from the extent of these £12 billion cuts.

But are the government doing the right things for an end result or are there more effective ways to reduce the deficit? I suppose I'm asking because I don't even know myself.

DISCUSS.
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5 Silas Frøkner
post Jun 21 2015, 04:56 PM
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Austerity is exactly the opposite of what should be occurring right now.

I agree with the idea of fixing the roof while the sun is shining. The problem we have is that it's still pissing down and austerity just makes bigger holes in the roof above those who can't afford plastic sheeting to keep the rain off them and leaves an intact roof over the head of the 1%.

The government should be investing in infrastructure projects (proven job creators) and in other schemes of job creating and training for the unemployed. Tax loopholes should be viciously closed, Taxes should be raised on the wealthy and Tax Evasion/Avoidance should be a massive target of HMRC with extra resources given to them to hang Amazon/Starbucks/Google et al with HMRC given the power to set substantial fines and clawback back taxes at a high rate of interest.

Working out Starbucks, Amazon and Googles actual UK tax liability for the past 15 years would put a massive dent in the national debt.
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5 Silas Frøkner
post Jun 21 2015, 04:59 PM
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Also, the Mean Girls placards at the protest were OUTSTANDING & the only academic journal that supported Austerity in recession has been very heavily discredited.

Australia, Greece & the UK are the only places currently pushing on with an austerity agenda. The latter can't take it, we barely can and the former can but the LNP are going about it the wrong way plus their resource heavy economy is about to hit the shitter so their ability to withstand austerity is about to be challenged.
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post Jun 21 2015, 05:06 PM
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Oh the Greece situation just confuses the hell out of me.
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Qassändra
post Jun 21 2015, 06:23 PM
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QUOTE(Griff @ Jun 21 2015, 05:47 PM) *
So thousands marched in London yesterday to campaign against the government's austerity cuts. I'm pleased it got much more coverage than I recall a similar (or maybe the same?) event around this time last year. Despite this, the government shows no signs of backing down from the extent of these £12 billion cuts.

That's mainly because they just won an election by over 2 million votes, so a march of 250,000 people doesn't really mean much.
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Qassändra
post Jun 21 2015, 06:33 PM
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QUOTE(Silas @ Jun 21 2015, 05:56 PM) *
Austerity is exactly the opposite of what should be occurring right now.

I agree with the idea of fixing the roof while the sun is shining. The problem we have is that it's still pissing down and austerity just makes bigger holes in the roof above those who can't afford plastic sheeting to keep the rain off them and leaves an intact roof over the head of the 1%.

Well not quite. The levels we have of growth now are fairly similar to the levels we had during most of the 00s, so now really is exactly the time to be making a dent in the deficit. You've cracked onto the key bit though - a government can choose exactly who is affected by spending cuts and tax rises. Having just won a majority, Osborne's been utterly vindicated in the idea that so long as you target the bottom, you don't really have to pay the price for it electorally - something difficult to say for other groups.

Given the cuts/tax rises formula is currently 80:20 for reducing the deficit, I'd shift to as much of a tax burden as sensibly possible in helping with that - bring in a land value tax to make the other side of the ledger start to add up, keep the 50p tax rate at the very least until the deficit is gone etc. But I'd also try and ensure the burden didn't hit the lowest - so scrapping the personal allowance increase and giving each person who benefits an average of the increase as a rebate, so it isn't just a sop to the most well-off while the people at the bottom get an extra tenner. I'd also get capital investment borrowing categorised separately from current borrowing (i.e. day to day spending - wages of nurses etc) so that can be left to CBA analyses rather than a judgement of 'ooooh MIGHT LOOK BAD TO SPEND MORE THIS YEAR'.
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post Jun 22 2015, 02:21 PM
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Of course there's another way and I saw a few banners naming it on Saturday. STOP OR VASTLY REDUCE FOREIGN AID. We shoukd stop or vastly reduce all foreign aid, a lot of which never even reaches the poorest.

This post has been edited by Common Sense: Jun 22 2015, 02:33 PM
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Qassändra
post Jun 22 2015, 02:26 PM
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QUOTE(Common Sense @ Jun 22 2015, 03:21 PM) *
Of course there's another way and I saw a few banners naming it on Saturday. STOP OR VASTLY REDUCE FOREIGN AID. We shoukd stop or vastly reduce all foreigtn aid, a lot of which never even reaches the poorest.

That isn't 'another way' at all. We spend £12bn on foreign aid - the deficit is over £90bn. It's hardly a silver bullet.
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post Jun 22 2015, 02:30 PM
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QUOTE(Qassändra @ Jun 22 2015, 03:26 PM) *
That isn't 'another way' at all. We spend £12bn on foreign aid - the deficit is over £90bn. It's hardly a silver bullet.



Yes but cutting it by 10 million would help. We should look after ourselves before sending all that money abroad. mad.gif I bet you a large majority of the population would agree with me too.


This post has been edited by Common Sense: Jun 22 2015, 02:32 PM
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Qassändra
post Jun 22 2015, 02:33 PM
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QUOTE(Common Sense @ Jun 22 2015, 03:30 PM) *
Yes but cutting it by 10 million would help. We should look after ourselves before sending all that money abroad. mad.gif

Given we became a rich nation off the back of the natural wealth of most of the nations we send aid to, it's the height of miserlyness to withdraw 7p of every £7 we spend on the basis of 'WE SHOULD LOOK AFTER OURSELVES FIRST!!!!!'. 99.3% of our spending goes on 'looking after ourselves' - by pretty much any measure, that is putting ourselves first. You're proposing the equivalent of not whacking your coppers in the collection bucket each week because 'we should put ourselves first'.
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post Jun 22 2015, 02:38 PM
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QUOTE(Qassändra @ Jun 22 2015, 03:33 PM) *
Given we became a rich nation off the back of the natural wealth of most of the nations we send aid to, it's the height of miserlyness to withdraw 7p of every £7 we spend on the basis of 'WE SHOULD LOOK AFTER OURSELVES FIRST!!!!!'. 99.3% of our spending goes on 'looking after ourselves' - by pretty much any measure, that is putting ourselves first. You're proposing the equivalent of not whacking your coppers in the collection bucket each week because 'we should put ourselves first'.



I understand what you're saying but we do have this deficit which we shouldn't leave for our children or grandchildren. I did see a post elsewhere though from a guy who said we shouldn't cut it now but just leave it. He said he didn't care if it was left for the next generations as he won't be here! rolleyes.gif
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Qassändra
post Jun 22 2015, 02:48 PM
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Christ, that's like some unholy lovechild of Craig and Danny.

(also as a rule that's kind of the last reason to be bothered about a deficit. Do you know which generation's debts you're paying tax to cover the interest for? No - because it doesn't make a difference either way. It does make a difference that you're covering it to begin with, and it does make a difference on how much we can borrow in future and how much interest we have to pay on it.)
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post Jun 22 2015, 05:02 PM
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It still irks me that being moved from Defence to International Development is seen as a demotion.
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