I posted the following on my Facebook page today as a ‘status’ but then decided what had been said merited further thought, so I decided to write something here. The following is what I wrote on Facebook.
While I was watching the Andrew Marr show today, I heard panelists talking about £1bn being lost in tax avoidance because companies are now conducting are their affairs through Ireland. Meera Syal then said “I can’t believe nobody’s doing anything about it, given that I know at least 3 or 4 ppl who are literally on the breadline because their disability benefits have been cut.” When you put it like that, it shows just how inconsistent the Government is being, especially when you consider that ‘Dave’ talked about ‘Compassionate Conservatism’ at the last party conference. Where is your compassion now, David Cameron?
I listened to this part of the programme a couple of times to type exactly what Syal said. Listening to the rest of the discussion, I quickly became disgusted as her fellow panelist seemed to casually dismiss what she said. Only Nick Robinson (standing in for Andrew Marr) attempted to discuss what Syal said, he too brushing it off by saying that at least politicians were ‘starting to’ realise what was going on, and talk about how to sort it. Sorry, but they could talk about it forever more but that doesn’t mean the problem will be solved. The other panelist then talked about how the companies would say this sort of inconsistency was down to the Government and the law-makers, and is about getting the balance between bringing in money from taxes and lowering corporation tax so that these companies could work from this country, but without addressing the inequality which Syal had tried to bring their attention to. Syal then said this situation was ‘immoral’. However, Robinson was keen to move on, asking the other Panelist to begin discussing the next story of interest. A little later in the program Robinson interviewed Theresa May, largely concerned with the fallout from the shooting of the soldier in Woolwich. May claimed Cameron ”has a grip on the terror laws, reducing the deficit, and a grip on reform of the welfare state” I beg to differ. as I did at the back-end of last year, both with Cameron’s approach to reform/cuts and the motives, or e-motives, behind his, and his party’s actions.
Perhaps Robinson would say there was no room to discuss Syal’s concerns; it was not in the script/autocue. However, they have plenty of time to talk about the same story over and over. Perhaps they would say it was ‘in the public interest’ to discuss this story. However, the discussion that there was surely shows the blatant lack of thought for the poor of this country. There is no escaping it when the truth is highlighted so baldly.
We ignore those on benefits and the ‘working poor’ at our peril… time will tell just what the consequences of this inaction will be. How much more can people be squeezed? Apparently the delivery of Universal Credit on the deadline is in doubt, hurrah!! Watch this space in the coming months for more comment!
p.s. if you are from outside the UK, what is the Government’s attitude towards poor and/or disabled people? What help do you/they get if any? Do you agree with how you/they are treated? What, if anything, would you do differently? If you are from the UK, what do you think?