Britain is more unequal today than it was a year ago.
The richest people in Britain grabbed another £35 billion over the past year, according to last week’s Sunday Times Rich List. Meanwhile unemployment shot up by 70,000 in the three months to the end of February.
People on benefits are having their incomes slashed by the bedroom tax and other attacks on welfare. And those in work have had average pay “rises” of a measly 1 percent—way below even the official rate of inflation.
Fortunately the Tories have a simple answer—encourage even more rich scroungers to come to Britain so they can “create” jobs.
It’s the height of hypocrisy for the Tories to claim they care about creating jobs. They have thrown some 370,000 public sector workers on the dole since they came to office.
But in any case the argument is rubbish. It is based on an old, discredited idea known as trickle down theory.
This says that if the rich get richer we all benefit because they pay more taxes and employ more people. What happens in reality is that the rich get richer at our expense.
So governments always try to placate rich people by bringing in policies that will benefit them.
In Britain, for example, the Tories have slashed corporation tax to just 20 percent. Tory chancellor George Osborne bragged that this is “the lowest business tax of any major economy in the world”.
It was 52 percent under Margaret Thatcher.
The Tories have waged war on “red tape” that protects workers’ rights and health and safety because it gets in the way of their business profit margins. They have made it easier for bosses to sack workers—claiming that this will encourage bosses to employ people.
And they have argued that firms should be exempt from equality laws that “stifle job creation”.
But none of this has helped ordinary people. And rather than getting more money from the rich in taxes, they do not necessarily pay any tax at all.
Lycamobile, the Tories’ top corporate donor, paid no corporation tax at all between 2008 and 2010.
The megabucks of the rich are more likely to trickle into offshore accounts than to find their way to ordinary people.
The Tories and their rich mates don’t want to make life better for working class people.
They want to squeeze as much from us as possible for themselves.
They try and use the idea that we all have the same interests to help them get away with their attacks.
But we don’t have any interest in helping the rich get richer—we have an interest in sweeping them away.