Wednesday, September 27, 2023

If not now, then when?

Labour released its fiscal plan today, promising the same old, same old: "responsibility", balanced books, and of course no new taxes:

"Labour will maintain income tax settings to provide consistency and certainty in these volatile times. Now is not the time for additional taxes or to promise billions of dollars in unfunded tax cuts which would add to inflation and take money away from health, education and housing.
If now is "not the time" for taxing the rich, then when the fuck is?

Our public services are literally falling apart. Today's poster-child is the courts, which are crumbling and unsafe due to prolonged skimping on maintenance. After-hours medical care is shutting down everywhere, because the staff are sick of being underpaid and have decided that they will not work themselves to burnout just to make the government's books look good. Which in turn means pressure on A&E, and staff there. Core government agencies can't provide policy advice to ministers, because they don't have the resources to do so. We have homelessness, and not enough state houses to cope. We have ingrained poverty. And we need to decarbonise everything in the next decade or burn to death.

There is a simple solution which would fix all of these problems: more resources. Tax the rich, spend the money on the things the country needs. But the Labour Party absolutely will not do this, because they're wedded to some entirely arbitrary target about the size of government relative to GDP, for fear of fuck knows what. It's an absolute fucking neurosis from them. And it means that they're basicly committed to helpless deck-chair shuffling, trying to make not enough go too far, and mining our physical infrastructure and the mental health and professionalism of public servants in a desperate attempt to keep everything spinning.

This cannot go on. If we want a functioning state, it needs more money. It is that simple. And if neither of our status quo parties will admit that, we need to look elsewhere for a government.