Is the Government right to admit it was wrong?
Last updated at 20:06, Thursday, 07 June 2012
Can a government ever win?
I found myself asking this question last week when the Government announced that it was withdrawing plans to put a cap on tax-free charitable donations.
It was the third U-turn since the budget was released just two months ago.
The infamous “pasty” tax has been withdrawn, as has the plan to inflict a huge tax on static caravans.
Is this a government that is listening to the people? Or is this government made up of idiots who have to keep backtracking because they don’t know what they are doing?
I have made it clear previously that I don’t believe this Government is making the right decisions. I think that the poorest, most vulnerable in society are increasingly being made to pay for the mistakes of the wealthy and most dominant.
I still believe that with all my heart. I still think that no civilisation can survive when the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and the gap between the two widens every day.
But what about the answer to my original question?
I feel that both answers are correct. This Government is making idiotic decisions, probably because it is made up of predominantly males who have not yet stepped far from their ivory towers.
The decisions they are making initially are divisive. Nobody, I am sure, believes that “we are all in this together” and the way our economy is not growing is proof that the stranglehold on spending is not keeping us out of recession.
So maybe my first inclination would be to say that this Government is made up of toffee-nosed idiots making decisions without any realisation of what they are doing.
Maybe we should embrace a government that is willing to admit that it might have made a mistake. Perhaps we should be grateful that, for once anyway, politicians are willing to actually listen to a groundswell of public opinion.
I’ve neither believed nor been willing to believe that they are doing anything right but I have to admire Chancellor George Osborne for having the guts to admit that he might have made a mistake. The cynics may say he is trying to save votes, but it is coming at a price – a loss of face!
Whether or not I have to pay a bit more for my pasty, however, is not quite as important as how much a single mum who cannot find a job is expected to live on.
If I had a caravan, static or otherwise, I would willingly pay a bit more tax if it meant that a disabled person was not taken off benefit because some random person decided he could and should work – despite the fact that nobody would employ him.
This country can be so proud of its charitable giving and it is estimated that the Government will lose more than £50 million in tax after backing down on a plan to reverse a decision to limit charitable giving.
It is such important news for the charities who depend on such funding, but it worries me that it is so important.
It bothers me so much to learn that groups and organisations providing absolutely vital services cannot exist without charity.
Locally we have groups such as the Rising Sun Trust which offers invaluable help to addicts and their families. This is help that would otherwise have to be paid for by the Government at far greater cost. The Government would be SAVING money by funding charities like that.
Then there is Allerdale COSC, which gives quality and purpose to the lives of people suffering from severe physical disabilities. They shouldn’t have to live hand to mouth.
Nor, by the way, should carers be treated so meanly. These are the family and friends of loved ones who struggle physically, mentally and certainly financially to look after their loved ones – and if each one of those loved ones had to be hospitalised, the cost would probably cripple the NHS.
On balance I admire this Government for listening. It seems they are willing to bow to the will of the people.
I am delighted that they are reviving, in part anyway, the schools building programme and that they seem to be willing to change course when they know they are wrong. Now all they have to do is to realise that we all have value.
Sometimes I feel that Robin Hood is turning in his grave.
Too often the easy way out for governments today is to take from the poor to prop up the rich. We have seen what happened in Greece when the people decided they’d had enough. Don’t let it happen here.
Keep listening, and remember there are more important things than pasties!
First published at 19:19, Thursday, 07 June 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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