By Jenny Shepherd, Jun 22 2017 08:00PM
999 Call for the NHS is on a mission to expose the myths about “balanced budgets” that all three main parties have signed up to. These myths, that we are all guilty of swallowing at some point in the last twenty years, stem from basic misapprehensions about the creation and injection of money into the econpmy and stand in the way of politicians committing themselvs and their party to properly funding the NHS, social care and all other public services.
There is clearly a double standard when it comes to government spending: it’s apparently fine to spend pots of public money on corporate welfare - but not on public services.
While public services are taking the hit -which is exactly the purpose of this thin we call “austerity” - massive corporate welfare payments amount to around £85bn/year, according to an audit carried out by Kevin Farnsworth, social policy lecturer at York University. LINK HERE
Our NHS, like other services, is being run down and sold for want of adequate funding - but currently the UK government gives - GIVES!!! - £6bn/year subsidies to fossil fuel industries operating in the UK
and a further £3.7bn subsidies to fossil fuel production overseas FOSSIL FUEL SUBS ABROAD in countries including Russia, Saudi Arabia and China. Um... pardon? You heard right...
New tax breaks for North Sea oil and gas production announced by the ex-chancellor, George Osborne, in 2015 will cost us taxpayers a further £1.7bn by 2020, according to government figures. DOWNLOAD
Before the G20 summit in 2014, Kevin Watkins, director of the British think tank the Overseas Development Institute, said:
“The evidence points to a publicly financed bail-out for carbon-intensive companies, and support for uneconomic investments that could drive the planet far beyond the internationally agreed target of limiting global temperature increases to no more than 2C.
“This is real money which could be put into schools or hospitals. It is simply not economic to invest like this. This is the insanity of the situation. They are diverting investment from economic low-carbon alternatives such as solar, wind and hydro-power and they are undermining the prospects for an ambitious UN climate deal in 2015.”
Nothing seems to have changed.
The World Health Organisation estimates that between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress. WHO LINK It makes for terrifying reading and is a clear case for a country like ours preparing for the long term future and making ready a health service that can help not only our society but those who are allies and on whom we depend for goods and services.
while the state is giving private companies an increasing amount in direct handouts, the money repaid in corporate taxation is falling almost year upon year. GUARDIAN £93 billion ARTICLE
This is a practice that needs to stop. To do this all politicians need to get their heads clear on how the economy works. How Austerity measures are simply stagnating and strangling our society.
It seems we the people who must help them.
So whilst the case is made over and over that " we cannot afford a health service" and that it is up to us as individuals to pay for it - silently and sneakily the perpetrators of Austerity, the big fatcat corporations are being handed valuable amounts of public money to do what? It will not return to the public purse. It will sit in a corporate bank account doing what? Buidling the economy?
And this is where we return to the fundamental issue. The economy is not HOW MUCH MONEY there is - large amounts of the stuff siiting idle in the pockets of the rich. (We're always told we're the 6th largest Economy yet we cant afford an NHS?) The Economy is about how much MONEY IS MOVING in the circular wave-like pattern that indicates a healthy growing economy.
A government invests by spending on public services and infrastrucure, citizens pay it back through buying goods, houses, holidays, taxes. A government invests first. It does not raise taxes in order to spend. That is what Austerity has convinced us.
And it's wrong.