The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osbourne, has proclaimed in a speech in London today that the UK economy is “turning a corner” saying that there are “tentative signs of a balanced, broad based and sustainable recovery” but went on to stress that it was still the “early stages” and “plenty of risks” remained for the country.
The problem is that the Conservative government have continuously told the country that “we are all in this together”, an interesting statement when it comes from a group of multi-millionaires, many of which were members of the Bullingdon Club at Oxford University, a group well known for its extravagances. Especially when those same multi-millionaires just happen to have close personal links to private healthcare providers (Sec of State for Health, Jeremy Hunts cousin is Virginia Bottomley, a non-exec director of BUPA) and Gas Fracking Operators ( Mr Osborne’s father-in-law, Lord Howell is Chairman of the Windsor Energy Group) to name just two. This doesn’t even mention the 68 Conservative Lords who have links to other private healthcare providers.
So who are the “we” that they are talking about? At the same time that the economy is claimed to have grown by a whopping 0.7% in the second quarter of the year a blog by The Void reports that homelessness has skyrocketed in the first three months of the benefits cap, with the number of families accepted as homeless by London local authorities has rocketed by 26% compared to the same period a year earlier.
This includes a huge 4,230 households – almost all with children – which were owed a main homelessness duty between April and June of this year. These are families who councils have accepted they have a legal duty to help and only represent the tip of the iceberg. Thousands more single people, families judged intentionally homeless, or those refused help for not meeting strict criteria, are also facing life without a home in the capital.
When Mr Osborne claims that “It is working” and that “the economic collapse was even worse than we thought. Repairing it will take even longer than we hoped” one just needs to question quite how long “we” as a society are going to have to suffer whilst George, Dave and their friends continue to prosper at our expense.