SO, the awful flooding in the south of England has brought out the worst of the blame culture “they” should have done this or *that*. Of course, the flooding is awful, lives and livelihoods have been destroyed and it is tragic. My argument is entirely with the response of some people.
This morning, certain despicable newspapers are peddling something I saw on Facebook over the weekend. I refuse to link to them, but I’m sure you’ve heard about it, the suggestion that we should stop all foreign aid while we sort out the flooding problems in this country.
I am going to align this with the cuts in provision for the homeless and social care, and the terrible consequences that such cuts are creating.
The fact of life, whether we like it or not, is that care costs. And someone has to be willing to pay. Lots of people are struggling at the moment, the cost of a basket of food has increased every time we go to the shops, but those costs are magnified so much more the less you have. It is the responsibility of those who can, to support those whose life is not so easy.
We should not ignore the plight of those who are suffering in this country, but neither should that mean we should stop the support of those who have, quite literally, nothing.
The only way I can see for a solution to all this, and it will not be popular, is taxes. Proper taxing. No loopholes, no tax advantages, not tricks and tips, no letting huge companies being allowed to ‘negotiate’ how much they pay, no evasion and no scrimping at the cost of essential services. I know tax isn’t popular. We’d all like to pay less, but that is not how society works. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to support society – and that includes the whole world. And that will cost us, it will cost us personally.
Council tax has not risen in this country for several years. This inevitably means that funds are reduced, no wonder councils are having to make difficult decisions about what provision is made and what cut. Maybe it’s about time we reversed this policy. It may be helpful on a personal level, but not on a societal one – though of course it’s apparently a vote winner…
And while I’m at it, why not raise the level of the personal tax allowance significantly – and then tax properly above that – no let-outs? That should help with making sure those who can do pay, and those who can’t don’t.
Supporting society is the responsibility of us all. Yes care costs. Yes we’d all like to reduce our outgoings, but while ever we want to live as part of the human society, we have responsibilities to one another. After all, we expect others to look after us in our moment of need.
This is not a party-political issue, it is for however the government is made up. These are not short-term, knee-jerk reactions that are needed, but long-term public policy, regardless of which MPs sit in the Houses of Parliament.
That is probably not rant over, but it’s a start…