That well known group of Poverty Hustlers at OXFAM (whose CEO earns a cool £117,00 per year, who says there are no riches in poverty?) has produced a “report” that says austerity is not working. I am debating them on BBC Nolan shortly but thought I would summarise the debate for you here;
Austerity measures are affecting Northern Ireland disproportionately and creating a more unequal society, a charity has said. New research by Oxfam indicated that 22% of people are now living in poverty. The charity said cuts were pushing vulnerable families to their limits. Jim Clarken of Oxfam Ireland urged the UK government and NI Executive to “row back” on deep-cutting economic policies “We are now facing hardships our grandparents faced,” he said.
What is their solution? Guess…
“There are alternatives to austerity,” he said. “We’re calling on the UK and NI governments to champion a new economic and social model that invests in people and pursues fair taxation. “Governments could raise billions for public services, such as health and education, by increasing tax on the wealthiest, and also cracking down on tax loopholes and avoidance schemes.”
My response. If “austerity” isn’t working, perhaps Mr Clarken can explain why..
- Inflation is down to 2%, the lowest in five years.
- More than a MILLION new jobs have been created in the private sector elsewhere in the UK
- Interest rates continue to sit at a historical low
- 2.2 million of low earners no longer pay tax
- UK is NOW the fastest growing economy in the G7 and the strongest in the EU
The fact is that the fairly modest levels of deficit reduction deployed by the Coalition are demonstrably successful and we have an economy that is the ENVY of the rest of the world. However, OXFAM have half a point. Here in Northern Ireland, the Executive has refused to introduce Welfare reform and so we see little change, hence OUR economy flatlines. Our dependency on a bloated inefficient public sector remains unchallenged and even the most economically illiterate must understand that you can only grow an economy by growing the private sector. This has not happened here because we are in thrall to the Public sector and those who hustle for it like OXFAM.
So, Oxfam do us all a service be showing that the one part of the UK which has specifically not embraces the need for serious welfare reform is the one part that shows minimal growth. Further, by advocating more tax and spend, OXFAM demonstrate that it has learned nothing about the economy, just like its soul mates in Labour.