Einstein was wrong, it is possible to travel faster than the speed of light. I’m inclined to believe it as I look at the Tories rushing around trying to blame anyone but themselves for the crisis they’ve created.
Jeremy Hunt, the fourth Chancellor since July, is promising to steady the ship by cancelling tax cuts and introducing more austerity. After 12 years of Tory government, it’s back to the future. Working people, the elderly and the poor are going to have to pay for yet another failed experiment.
As we head into winter, it’s almost certain the government won’t honour the triple lock designed to protect pensioners. On Monday, the Chancellor virtually admitted to me that he won’t raise benefits in line with inflation, meaning our poorest pensioners won’t get the increase they need. They’ll get less at the very time when they require more. There won’t be a campaign to encourage almost one million pensioners entitled to pension credit but who don’t claim it. And there’s now no chance of raising the pension credit threshold to allow those living in very modest circumstances to receive a benefit which is also a passport to council tax support, rent assistance and free TV licences for the over 85s.
By promising huge unfunded tax cuts, the new PM spooked the markets. It’s caused a financial crisis which will hit businesses and destroy jobs, drive up mortgages and cost some people their homes. If that’s not bad enough, it’s also created a crisis in government bonds that affects pension funds with a knock-on effect that could hit pensioner incomes for years to come. Pension funds were encouraged to invest in government bonds because they were safe. People who’ve paid pension contributions all their working life trusted those decisions. The reckless actions of this government have put them at risk.
Can you believe the former Chancellor, who behaved like a drunk man in a casino gambling with our money, is now in line for a £17,000 pay off after only 43 disastrous days in the job. It’s time for a change.