Real area of ‘growth’ is in our food banks
I READ with interest Paul Halas’s latest letter on the chair of the South West Conservatives’ propaganda pitch about their recent budget and the state of the economy (“Budget throws less well-off a few crumbs”, Western Daily Press, November 7). While I don’t necessarily always agree with all of Mr Halas’s arguments, he’s certainly on the money with this one.
My question is, why have Tory high command started writing such letters to the regional press? Perhaps a general election is afoot.
I won’t focus on the budget, with its tax cuts disproportionately benefiting the already filthy-rich, and its total dereliction of duty in ignoring the most pressing geopolitical issue of the age – climate change (not to mention the Tory-induced fracking earthquakes now plaguing Lancashire). Instead, I want to highlight Tory fairy tales about our allegedly “successful” economy.
Here are some bald facts about the economy that – surprise, surprise – you’ll never hear from the Tories. The biggest growth industry in Britain under the Tories is actually food banks, with their use soaring by an extraordinary 13 per cent in recent months. And of course that’s how they want it: the Tories have disdain for the welfare state, and if they could get away with it, they’d see it abolished altogether, and our poorest, most deprived citizens supported by charity and crumbs from the table of the rich.
Next, never before have so many of our citizens been in working poverty, with many in low-paid dead-end jobs forced to use those self-same food banks. And the shocking statistics on days off per annum in Britain due to stress, anxiety and depression constitutes the other burgeoning growth area in our “successful” economy. You’ll never hear about these shameful facts in the Tory-supporting media, but rest assured that Labour will be waking people up to these shocking realities as the next election approaches.
I’ve also just heard that the United Nations has recently launched an inquiry into extreme poverty in Britain. Such international humiliation is the legacy of Tory rule and 40 years of untrammelled neoliberalism; and let’s just hope we get the opportunity to give the Tories our verdict on it at the polls sooner rather than later.
Dr Richard House Stroud, Gloucestershire