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Council tax to rise across England as austerity hits hard | Society | The Guardian
‘Chronic underfunding’ forces cuts to services including social care, roads and libraries [...] One in 20 councils said they were concerned that funding cuts were now so deep that they would struggle to deliver the legal minimum level of services. Almost one in 10 anticipate legal challenges from the public against proposed cuts in service provision. The survey found 80% of councils have no confidence that the current model of local government finance is sustainable. More than half have drawn down reserves to stay afloat. More than three-quarters have borrowed cash to invest in commercial property in the hope the returns will cover budget gaps.
UK  Austerity  Council  counciltax 
4 days ago by asterisk2a
Bond Economics: Understanding The "Debt Burden" Debate
the side that argues that "debt is a burden" typically argue by constructing examples, where there is an effect that mimics such "time travel". In order to understand the debate, we need to understand those examples. They generally look like this. At some initial time, the government spends money, and increases its liabilities. Typically, this is a transfer to an "older generation" (think of government pensions), which spends the money and then promptly dies. The government liabilities are rolled forward for a number of "generations". The government raises taxes on the future "young generation" to eliminate those increased liabilities. ("Paying off the debt.") Therefore, it looks like the future "young generation" is penalised with higher taxes as a result of the increased government liabilities that was used to transfer resources to the present day "old generation". Government liabilities appear to act as an intermediary in a transfer between those generations. The flaw with these examples is that there is no justification as to why the government liabilities have to be reduced in the future. This is just an arbitrary government action that is imposed by the person giving the example. In the real world, government money and debt grow along with nominal GDP, so one could easily have an alternate story in which the tax hike never occurs. (My previous article gave such an example.) That said, it appears safe to say that is impossible to grow liabilities faster than GDP "forever", and so actions may eventually be needed to limit liability growth. The fact that the "burden" is actually the result of what appears to be an arbitrary government policy was observed earlier. The Austrian economist Robert P. Murphy gives a good summary of the debate in this article, which discusses this point. He also lists the positions of the various economists involved. The Real Question The question that the debate is really about is: does increasing government liabilities now (above some "normal level") imply an obligation to reduce them back to some "normal level" (with some form of austerity policy) in the future? ...
mmt  debt  austerity 
4 days ago by MicrowebOrg
The country I walked through deserves better than Brexit | Mike Carter | Opinion | The Guardian
Nearly everyone I spoke to in those towns said they were going to vote for Brexit. There was a lot of talk of “taking back control”, and in the context of the industrial wastelands, that sentiment made a lot of sense. But the EU issue was, for a majority, a proxy for their pain.

There was a brief moment when it appeared the Conservatives grasped this. When Theresa May became prime minister on 13 July 2016, after David Cameron had fled the post-referendum carnage, she addressed the “just about managing” and said the government “will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours … When we take the big calls, we’ll think not of the powerful, but you.”

But since then we have had a government paralysed by Brexit, effectively not governing at all. We have ongoing crises in most aspects of public policy: housing, transport, prisons, the benefits system, health, education. Homelessness is rocketing, as is food bank use. In some areas of our inner cities, Dickensian diseases such as rickets and beriberi have re-emerged. At a time when politicians should be reaching out to leave voters with concrete proposals for rebalancing our economy, heavily based as it is on services and centred in the south-east, we get a continuation of turbo-charged austerity. In their call for a second referendum, remainers should ask themselves whether the anger that drove the result in June 2016 has been even remotely addressed.


Brexit will deliver none of this. As driven by the right, it is the final part of the race to the bottom that started 40 years ago. There are no easy answers, but until our politicians begin to acknowledge that the globalised neoliberal economic model is a disaster for human beings and the planet we inhabit, we will remain angry and scared and vulnerable to dog whistles. And maybe that is the point.
UK  Brexit  economy  inequality  poverty  deindustrialisation  homelessness  anger  housing  rents  gambling  Bet365  austerity  localGovernment  cuts  AlstonPhilip  UN  politics  TheRight  neoliberalism 
7 days ago by petej
UK council debts approach £100bn as borrowing continues unabated | Top News | IFRe
Councils have access to cheap debt via central gov so they are becoming lenders to e.g. housing associations and then using the replayments as a source of revenue as even with their cut it’s still cheap debt.
uk  local-government  finance  austerity  politics 
8 days ago by mr_stru
Schools staff crisis looms as austerity hits teachers’ pay | Education | The Guardian
Classroom pay has fallen by more than £4,000 a year since 2010 in real terms, according to a government assessment. Damian Hinds, the education secretary, warned that only a 2% increase can be expected for the next academic year.
UK  Austerity  education  policy  Ofsted 
9 days ago by asterisk2a
Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders, Trump and the State of Imperial Decline Glen Ford, BAR executive editor 07 Feb 2019
Bernie Sanders’ anticipated second run for the presidency is the 6-ton elephant in the Democratic boardroom. But the rich owners of the Party would rather lose to Trump again than win with Sanders

“Sanders' outstanding primary showing represented the strongest electoral challenge to austerity of the century.”

For the entirety of the 21st century the Lords of Capital have offered nothing but deepening austerity and endless war to the “home” populace of the imperial countries. The Great Meltdown of 2008 brought the global capitalist system to the very brink of collapse, impoverishing tens of millions and imprinting a profound sense of dread and insecurity on a new generation. Were it not for the strength of China’s command economy and the $19 trillion Federal Reserve bailout of U.S. and European banks, the global capitalist system might have come totally undone. Instead, the system’s concentration of wealth mechanisms were put on overdrive. No wonder, then, that polls show 18 to 29 year-old Americans favor socialism (51%) over capitalism (45%), and that Black Americans are even more socialist-minded than that. And no wonder a U.S. president felt compelled to exorcise the demons of socialism in his State of the Union Address:...
GlenFord  BlackAgendaReport  SocialismInAmerica  Austerity  GrandAusterity  BernieSanders  AlexandriaOcasio-Cortez 
9 days ago by juandante
Ministers accused of pressure over teacher recruits - BBC News
But providers say they have come under repeated pressure to take the kinds of candidates that they had been rejecting.

They have been summoned to a string of meetings by Schools Minister Nick Gibb and his Department for Education (DfE) officials, over the past six months, where they were quizzed over which candidates were rejected and why.
UK  education  policy  Austerity  staff  recruitment  crisis  CON-servative  Conservative  Theresa  May  quality  Ofsted 
11 days ago by asterisk2a
Troubled government contractor Interserve agrees rescue deal | Business | The Guardian
Company, which has 45,000 employees in UK, hopes to avoid Carillion-style collapse
Shares in Interserve closed down 1.8% at just under 13p. The company was worth as much as £1bn in 2014, but is now worth a little over £20m.
outsourcing  Carillion  Interserve  bailout  Austerity  UK  Council  Privatisation  NHS 
11 days ago by asterisk2a
How Austerity Caused Brexit - Pacific Standard
Brexit Britain is an object lesson in how a modern nation fails.
brexit  austerity 
12 days ago by mysty

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