The Plastic Hippo

December 16, 2016

It`s Christmas

So here it is

So here it is

How indescribably lucky we are as a nation to be under the stewardship of such a kind, caring and thoroughly generous government. The largess and caring munificence of Mrs May and her selfless cabinet colleagues knows no bounds and her avowed mission to care for the vulnerable, support the poor and make this great nation a beacon of equality continues unabated.

The latest gift to a grateful populous is to allow local authorities to increase council tax by six per cent over two years to inject much needed cash into the social care system. This unbelievably charitable act will, no doubt, be a source of great comfort to elderly and disabled people currently abandoned and at risk of starving to death. Mother Theresa has taken bold and compassionate action and has shifted the problem manufactured by a previous government in which she served onto local councils already short of money due to massive cuts imposed by the current and previous governments in which she made a rather comfortable living.

It might be worth spelling out the crisis that faces social care in one of the wealthiest economies in the world but that exercise would be completely futile as it would be ignored by those who rule us rather than look after us. It might be best to consider who is responsible for social care. The government seem to think that local councils should pick up the bill even thought the Conservatives in government have cut funding and grants to local councils year after year. Indeed, when asked at PMQs how much money had been removed from local authority social care budgets, Mrs May claimed that her previous and current governments had increased funding. It took the unelectable communist stooge and serial wearer of a beard Jeremy Corbyn to point out that funding for social care had been cut by £4.6 billion. This sent Tory MPs into a rage as they thought it treacherous for Corbyn to ask a question that he knew what the answer was but the PM did not. Mrs May is beginning to look increasingly isolated, inept and really rather hopeless.

The cynical shifting of responsibility for vital care to councils is typical of a government that is impervious to shame and riddled with hypocrisy. Council tax raises a minor fraction of the revenue required to run a borough with the rest coming from central government. The contribution from central government has decreased to the point where councils have to cut services or raise the level of council tax. The announcement by Sajid Javid to allow councils to increase the level of local taxation beyond what was previously considered to be legal is the work of genius if you think that avoiding a duty of care is, in some way, clever.

What Theresa May, Sajid Javid and the rest of this appalling government fail to recognise is that the bill for social care has already been paid and has probably been overpaid by billions of pounds. The elderly now requiring care and support have worked and paid income tax and paid national insurance contributions for four or five or six decades. They made stuff, they struggled, they worked hard and they paid their stamp and were promised care at the end of their lives. Theresa May is now asking them and their children to pay again with an increased council tax that will not do anything to improve the care that they need and the care that they are not receiving. After being abandoned by her own children, Margaret Thatcher ended her days in a luxury suite at the Ritz hotel surrounded by carers all paid for by the British tax payer. It would be churlish to suggest that Mrs May would suffer a similar fate given that the Savoy has better quality foie gras.

The government goon appointed to sell off the National Health Service, a psychopath by the name of Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England no less, has chucked his considerable opinion into the un-emptied bed pan. Former Labour councillor and a good friend of Boris Johnson, Stevens has suggested that a reduction in state pensions, an end to bus passes for pensioners along with free TV licences and the removal of the winter fuel allowance will free up enough money to look after all those dreadful old people ruining artificial NHS targets. His logic seems to be based on the notion that old people do not need a pension to buy food because they don`t eat much anyway and they do not need a bus pass because they are house bound and if they are cold they can just knit themselves a nice cardigan. The message seems to be thanks for defeating fascism and thanks for the economic success of the 1960s and thanks for creating new technologies in the 70s and thanks for contributing to the welfare state. Times, however, have changed so would you mind keeping quiet and just crawl away and die without causing any embarrassment. Thank you.

Stevens` argument is more nonsensical than perverse. The state pension is not a benefit and for the sake of clarity, I repeat that the state pension is not a benefit. A state pension is not even a given right. A state pension is a return on a previous investment made over decades. National Insurance is exactly the same. It is insurance against old age and illness. That these wealthy and privileged vermin should now accuse the elderly of being “bed blockers” in the NHS because of government`s failure to address social care is basically inhuman and an act of craven cowardice.

Removing a bus pass from an elderly person will not save money. Unless the government have decided to completely abolish public transport, the bus will continue to run after 9-30 with or without pensioners heading to the library or museum closed down due to an increase in council tax. Free TV licences for the very, very old will not save any money unless the government decides to shut down the BBC.

The brave decision to allow councils to become financially unviable by increasing council tax comes hot on the heels of a government announcement that education funding will now be re-aligned favouring rural rather than inner city areas. By an utterly astonishingly coincidence, rural councils with high band council tax properties can raise more money than inner city councils cursed with low grade housing and a government failure to build affordable homes. In another astonishing coincidence, rural areas vote Tory and inner city areas don`t.

If we need money for social care, the precept should come from the very expensive vanity projects espoused by idiots. Applying some rigour to tax avoidance and reversing the scandalous decision to reduce corporation tax might help. Cancelling the useless and unnecessary Trident replacement would be a start and we might turn our thoughts to the need of Chinese or French nuclear power stations, HS2 or the restoration of a palace fit for a queen who might just round off 2016 with a final surprise that could trump the news of Noddy Holder`s death on Christmas Eve. “It`s Chrisssssssssss….thud.”

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1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on Getting There.

    Comment by Aiden McHaffie — December 16, 2016 @ 10:37 am | Reply


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