“‘There is no magic money tree,’ Theresa May said during the election campaign when confronted by a nurse complaining about low pay. Yet now that the Conservatives need the support of the DUP to give them a working majority, suddenly the magic money tree appears: £1 billion of additional spending has been promised to Northern Ireland. Can austerity survive such hypocrisy?”
Simon Wren-Lewis, Professor of Economic Policy, Oxford University, 7 July 2017
“Do you think it’s fair that the nurses get just a 1% increase year-in year-out regardless of inflation – so they get poorer, so some of them we’re told go to foodbanks? Is that fair? Do you sleep happy at that?”
David Dimbleby questions PM Theresa May, 2 Jun 2017
In the absence of a clear vision of her own, Theresa May seems to have fallen back on the status quo – the austerity programme. This post looks at the vision and political philosophy behind austerity.
Continue reading Cut, cut, cut … all in the name of freedom?
“Strong and stable leadership” has been the mantra of Theresa May and the Conservatives since the election was called on 18 April, with minimal discussion of policies so far, including health. However, the importance and popularity of the NHS means that it is nearly always a key election issue, as we saw in the 2016 EU referendum.
Increasingly the service is referred to as “our” NHS, reflecting its standing as a universal public service that we all contribute to and benefit from. A key concern in recent years is that the NHS is being privatised by the Conservatives, risking a shift from services driven by medical need to services focussed on company profits.
Continue reading Are the Conservatives privatising the NHS?
In 2010, the Conservative-led government, under David Cameron, introduced a new “long term economic plan”, commonly known as austerity, to reduce the national debt by cutting government spending. This post looks at some of the cuts that have been made, their impact, and whether Theresa May is continuing with the Cameron budget plans.
Continue reading Austerity cuts and their impact
With a focus on inequality, this post looks at the UK economy in the recent past, the current state of affairs, and the general direction we may be heading in under Theresa May.
Continue reading Economic reform: government steps up, not back
In a recent speech Barack Obama talked about “an ideology that undervalues the common good.” He is referring to an ideology that came to prominence in the UK and the US and has underpinned politics and economics in Britain and America for the past 35 years. Its concepts have become mainstream ideas and it is now the dominant economic theory taught in universities. This post is a brief outline of the development and impact of the ideology, followed by some examples of its renewed influence in Britain in recent years.
Continue reading An ideology that undervalues the common good