It seems that “think tanks” rarely, if ever, actually think much beyond a government-favouring, knee-jerk, kiss-arse, reaction. If at all.
The Social Market Foundation claims that the £1billion annual cost of OAP bus travel and £2billion cost of the winter fuel allowance does nothing to improve the economy and should be cut by the government as it tries to slash spending – missing the point that not every item of expenditure needs to, or even can, generate revenue.
Travel passes enable many pensioners to travel to the shops, cinemas, pubs, even, god help us, bingo, all of which generate tax revenue (taxes are down already because those dependent on benefits have much less money to spend**). They, of course, are the pensioners with money to spare.
** And thanks to rising unemployment. Everybody who spends generates tax revenue – strip people of income, they stop spending on all but essentials – it’s hardly rocket science.
Not to mention the fact that travel passes keep buses on unpopular, but still essential, routes on the road, and if the travel pass revenue were to be lost the cost of fares would inevitably rise, and routes would be lost too.
As for the winter fuel payment, that – simply – can mean that pensioners who do not have money to spare won’t have to choose between heating and food – not for the whole winter anyway. True, the benefits are not in the form of revenue, but how can that possibly be a waste of money?
And, of course, think tanks have the same problem this egregious and corrupt government has – they have never known need, don’t understand need, and have therefore chosen to ignore it.
They’d do well to remember that all the people whose lives they’re wrecking have votes. Except for those poor souls whom they’ve already driven to suicide, or hastened to their deaths by having them pronounced fit for work. Most of those, though, leave behind families with every reason to bear a grudge against this bunch of sharp-suited Nazis – and they have votes too.
Cameron and company need to stop, take a pace back, and yes, think too – they might enjoy the novelty, it’ll make a change from dogma. They need to realise they are fucking with the lives of real people, not simply ciphers, each with a monetary value, and come 2015, these people are going to rip him a new one.
Trouble is, Cameron, and IDS don’t care about that (Osborne is so far out of his depth he must surely self-destruct soon), because, like school bullies who know they are about to be thrashed (in 2015), they are intent on doing as much harm as possible while they are still here.
None of this is about the economy, or the deficit, for those two malign and conceivably insane trolls (the madness of Cameron having been enthusiastically embraced by IDS), it’s all about punishing the sick and disabled for daring to exist (while Ivan Cameron doesn’t – that’s the bottom line), and “prosper” at the state’s expense, and punishing the poor and the unemployed for, as far as I can see, simply being poor and unemployed.
By any measure, the actions, and the constant lies, of Cameron and IDS are not those of people with both oars in the water. Not at all. And the sooner they’re consigned to the cess-pit of history, the better for all concerned.