The Tories’ flawed ”Broken Britain’ philosophy, if judged on ‘policy’ announcements hitherto, appears as though it will actually cost more, not make the cuts that the Tories promise. Personally, with the sort of ideas coming out of Iain Duncan Smith’s think tank, Centre for Social Justice (which is the back bone to the ‘Broken Britain’ concept), it worries me that Smith would head a new Department for Children and Social Justice if the Tories obtained office. I have commented on the flawed nature of the ‘Broken Britain’ concept many times before, so I will not delve into this with much detail here. However, suffice to say we need to look beyond the individual and instead focus on the real structural economic changes that need to take place in society.
The central question is: where will these cuts the Tories go on about fall? You only have to look at another recent proposal by Smith’s think-tank, to provide tax breaks of up to £20,000 to families if they build their grandparents flats, to question the level of detail the Tories are providing the public in relation to their cut strategy . I am all for family responsibility, however, it takes a bit more than a tax break to provide real lasting care for the elderly. The government cannot shy away from their own responsibility. Furthermore, the Tories view of morality, as shown with the promised tax breaks for married couples, seems to be based on the view that providing people with money is the route of ‘good’ behaviour. Whilst they seem to provide ways that the family tax around the grandparent flats will be paid for (unlike their marriage tax proposal), it still wont provide the wide ranging cuts the Tories are promising the public.
Whilst I do not agree with the Tories’ views on the need for deep cuts to ‘help’ economic recovery, I think it is worrying that the Tories are not really announcing any substantial areas of cuts, instead, they keep providing new spending plans. What this shows to me, is that deep cuts into the key areas of spending such as education, health and welfare will occur if the Tories get in. They have to announce some policies, so what they do is announce the ones that don’t frighten the public. Yes, they may say they are ring fencing the NHS for example, however, if you look into their proposals more and many people have commented on this, they are basically cutting and privatising these sectors through the back door, which will result in damaging consequences. For example, look at their proposal on education, they want to let companies and whatever else run schools. Look at their proposals on welfare, they want to force people back to work in a stigmatising way, taking an individual approach to illness and disability, failing to recognise that society itself needs to be changed.
What this shows is how important it is to remember how misleading the Tories’ rhetoric is. Yes, they are going to produce large-scale cuts, but where they will fall has been purposely vaguely specified. If the Tories gained power, this is a worry that threatens damaging cuts to our society and economy that will almost certainly send this country back into a recession.