Post by Penny
Post by krw
Austerity as a term has been wrongly used for the last 10 years and
provided a weapon to opposition parties. It did however mean that Mr
Sunak had the room to add debt without the IMF arriving to prop us up as
in the past.
Do you actually believe that?
From where I'm sitting, it looked like the government wasting shed-loads of
money on systems which worked badly and filled the pockets of the private
sector to wage war on the poor, the sick and the disabled while also
depriving them of the services which had previously been helping them (and
the rest of us) to survive.
I am not sure which bit you are asking about. Very firmly I believe
that austerity was misuse of terminology for ten years (approximately
during which the Chancellors concerned (largely Osborne) sought to
ensure that borrowing was reduced but always at some future date which
always got further away each year and the term became a weapon for the
opposition to use. During this period there were some poor system
implementations - but many of those (given the gestation period
concerned) related to decisions taken earlier.
Having been in charge of an absolute balls-up of a system change I was
allowed to spend 10 years turning it into a spiffing system which met
the business needs, was liked by the users who acknowledged eventually
that the road had been painful but the benefits were there.
I have also had first hand experience in recent months of the way
investment and systems can bring good. The NHS (no doubt with others)
has built a wonderful new centre in Aldershot and my visits there have
been (sorry) world class in terms of organisation and being seen on time
and well treated by excellent staff. Alongside this although there was
a problem with my visit to RSH and the process did not happen to me I
could see how genuinely invested the individuals were, the numbers of
patients they were seeing and getting through the scanning machine -
such machines did not exist 15 years ago - and so there has been huge
investment in the hardware and the people over the intervening period.
Alongside this my daughter works for a firm which has to assess those on
long term benefits. Yes she sees those who are ill and need to have
those benefits and then there are the others - one who stole her purse
(silly girl for leaving it out) - and the one who read the newspaper
throughout the interview and did not answer any questions needed to
continue on their benefits. (I hope this observes GDPR). Plus the
entire range in between. There is an implication that some of those
receiving benefits may not meet the criteria. But every case is
assessed and that assessment is then reviewed. Mistakes are made but if
the individuals do the jobs correctly that is not waging war on the poor.
Sorry at the length of the diatribe but there are many sides to all
stories and my belief (which is where we started) is that some level of
husbandry has provided the headroom Sunak needed in an emergency. There
has to be some realisation that the same headroom needs to be reclaimed
for the next emergency if our politicians run around like headless
chickens visiting Barnard Castle the next time around!
Kosmo Richard W