On Wednesday, or WOEday you delivered your Autumn Statement. Yesterday I bought a newspaper, with the intention to bone up on the analyses of what this means for us, but yesterday being my birthday, I decided instead to have a day of bel far niente (Italian for the sweet art of doing nothing) and gave myself a day off from the harsh realities of the world.
So today I have caught up with the implications of your economic strategy for us ordinary people.
So to reduce all the hot-air and zillions of words, expended on your statement, this is what I think.
You and yours (Tories and Lib Dems) have taken as your oft-repeated ad nauseum mantra, “We are all in this together”. But George, we, that is Josephine and Joe Public out here, do not believe you, and really you insult our intelligence.
Here’s a few reasons why; Starbucks, Google, Amazon, oh and Top-Shop (we seem to have forgotten them temporarily) to name the most notable corporations engaged in legal though immoral tax-evasion.
In your statement on Woeday, you used the now standard spin, on how the majority of us feel aggrieved at those on benefits who lie abed, while we set off for work in all weathers. I find it strange that you set out to demonise those who have to live on benefits, and not applying the same standard to large corporations who seek to evade, however legally, their tax responsibilities.
So here’s the thing George, watching last night’s Question Time on BBC1, a young woman spoke of her father, who struggling to make ends meet, had worked out that he and his family would have a better income if they were on benefits.
So what I ask, is the moral difference between large corporations finding legal ways to maximise their profits, and Mr and Mrs Public realising their income would increase if they were on benefits?
And so, if as you say “We are all in this together”, what is the problem with an individual taking the lead from large corporations on how to maximise income? In any other circumstances, I’m sure you would say it is the sensible thing to do, wouldn’t you? But the question remains, is it the moral thing to do?
As the Lib Dem MP Tim Farron said on Question Time last night. “Tax is the subscription charge for living in a civilised society”. Perhaps you should stop demonising the individuals who need benefits to live (I’ve never met anyone happy to be living on benefits) and start demonising the large corporations not paying their fair and moral share, which I don’t need to be an accountant to work out, would bring you a darn sight more revenue than any individual’s tax share.
And that George, is my Autumn Statement. Thank you for listening.