Force-Fed UK Austerity
by Stephen Lendman
Ordinary people suffer oppressive harshness.
Since 2008, America, Britain and other European nations force-fed austerity harshness. Neoliberal and imperial priorities take precedence.
Bankers, war profiteers, other corporate favorites, and privileged elites alone benefit. Ordinary people lose out entirely. Public needs go begging. Human misery grows. Things go from bad to worse. Nothing ahead looks promising.
Britain made things harder. Parliament imposed the largest welfare cuts in modern times. More on them below.
They come when Prime Minister David Cameron wants UK nuclear defenses upgraded. He wants billions of pounds spent doing so. He claims Britain faces threats that don't exist. An "ultimate weapon" is needed, he says.
His Daily Telegraph op-ed headlined "We need a nuclear deterrent more than ever," saying:
(A)s prime minister, with ultimate responsibility for the nation's security, I profoundly disagree with" naysayers. The "nuclear threat has not gone away."
"My judgment is that it would be foolish to leave Britain defenceless against a continuing, and growing, nuclear threat."
Saying so defies reason. Wanting billions of pounds spent on what's not needed reflects deception writ large. Britain's FY 2014 budget allocates 44.7 billion pounds for defense.
Billions go for nuclear deterrence. Cameron wants billions more. It's worth the cost, he says. No cheaper options exist, he claims.
He wants Brits to think wasteful spending will protect Britain from nuclear attacks. Estimates run up to 20 billion pounds. It reflects multi-year spending.
At the same time, he supports massive welfare cuts. They come when Queen Elizabeth got a five million pound pay increase. In FY 2013-14, she'll receive 36.1 million pounds (around $54 million). It's up from 31 million last year.
She gets regular pay increases. They come from the Crown Estate. Its properties are worth eight billion pounds.