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Child poverty, inequality and environment missing from Tory budget, renowned economist tells RT —...
British Chancellor George Osborne’s policies on personal tax allowance will do almost nothing for poor children in the country who are going to be hit by the government’s squeeze on tax credits and benefits, a charity warns.
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) warned that the 2013 budget, delivered by Osborne yesterday, has failed to change the fact that 600,000 more children will be dragged into poverty during the coalition’s time in office.
“The chancellor described it as a budget for families, with children, looking to work hard and aspiring to get on," said Alison Garnham, chief executive of the charity group.
"But most low-income families have very few reasons to be cheerful and plenty to be fearful."
She also argued that the Chancellor’s plans for raising personal tax allowance, from £8,105 to £9,440 next month and to £10,000 from April 2014 will do almost nothing for the parents on the lowest incomes.
"Some don't pay tax anyway, while others keep just 15 percent in every extra £1 because their in-work benefits like housing benefit get withdrawn," she said.
Earlier in March, Britain’s largest unions body the Trades Unions Congress (TUC) announced that over half a million more British children will be pushed “below the breadline” in the next two years as a result of the government’s welfare cuts, tax rises and wage freezes.
A quarter of a million UK civil servants staged a mass walk-out in protest of sweeping budget cuts. Union members claim the government has refused to negotiate on their contested budget and have launched a three-month campaign to push their demands.
The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) has warned that the budget day strikes are just the tip of the iceberg and “the start of a rolling program of walkouts and disruptive action to put pressure on a government."
Striking civil servants marched on number 10 Downing Street voicing their outrage at government cuts to pensions and wage packets, while the PCS held a rally in Westminster during Chancellor George Osborne’s speech.
"Civil and public servants are working harder than ever to provide the services we all rely on but, instead of rewarding them, the government is imposing cuts to their pay, raiding their pensions and trying to rip up their basic working conditions,” said General Secretary of the PCS Mark Serwotka.
The British government criticized the civil servant strike as counterproductive. Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude decried the walk-out as
“futile” and described its impact as
“minimal.” "The public will have been inconvenienced to a very small extent by the strike today," he said to press.
He claimed that only 95,000 staff members took part in the mass walk-out, while the PCS disputes this, putting the total figure at around 250,000.
PCS members who work in customs offices, immigration and job centers are demanding a 5 per cent pay rise.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne unveiled the UK’s 2013 budget on Wednesday, prompting the nation’s growth forecast to be downgraded by more than half over the next year.
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The victory of Conservatives in UK general elections has sparked hot debates among experts about the democratic nature of its political system and economic prospect.
One of the main points which is repeated in most debates is that the austerity measures would continue in the next five years.
“Obviously we had a 5 year coalition government where at least some of the extreme right-wing policies of the conservative party was controlled and managed by the Lib Dems. What we are likely to see is that the austerity measures now are taking a full speed,” London-based commentator Shabbir Razvi told Press TV.
He blamed the Conservatives politicians for not briefing the nations over the budgets allocated for various fields saying:” What we have is that austerity measures will continue unabated and really what this reflects is that Britain is very much a democracy, or a form of democracy, which can be bought by money.”
According to Razvi, at the end of last year, the electoral commission found that Tories received the largest amount of donations at 8 billion, the bulk of which came from financial associates in banks, different industries and business.
The analyst said the Tories are now going to follow the agenda of big corporations, big businesses saying what big corporations want is to create a sort of jargon and euphemistically it is called to create a competitive environment.
“What the multinational corporations want is that vast majority of the people in the UK to be working at a very minimum wage so that the corporations make bigger and bigger profits and at the same time cuts and the privatization of the national health service, cuts and the privatization of the police service, the fire service, and so on,” he noted.
He then referred to the relatively low turnout in the general elections saying out of the 45 million people who were eligible for vote, only 30 million voted.
“That means the largest party that didn’t participate in the elections was the non-voters and the conservative party only got 35 percent of the popular vote, he said.
Razvi slammed the form of democracy in the UK saying that it appears that the form of democracy that is being practiced in the UK, the mother of all democracies, is not really quite democratic as it is run by big businesses, big media tycoons, and the rich and the wealthy.
- destroying Ukrainian sovereignty;
- controlling its regime;
- plundering its resources;
- exploiting its people;
- incorporating it into NATO;
- establishing new US bases; and
- installing long-range nuclear-armed missiles along its 1,400 km border with Russia targeting its heartland.
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