Monday 25 October 2010


On a few occasions I have pointed out (along with the Institute for Fiscal Studies) that the Coalition’s cuts disproportionately hurt the poor.

Of course benefits cuts hurt the poor and the sick, because by definition, most benefit recipients are poor and many are sick. But council and government services which will be cut will hurt the poor more too. The poor rely more on the library, free computer access, day centres, youth clubs, old folks entertainment, etc, than the rich who have little need of these things. And of course, given that Mr Cameron’s Big Society depends upon people with the ability to negotiate their way through grant applications, and then the management skills to run whatever it is, it’s more likely that in the leafy suburbs or commuter villages of Edinburgh, there will be businessmen with some spare time (or one of the office staff) to complete applications, and stay at home wives, active pensioners, or people of independent means, than in a inner city council estate.

But there are some things that will affect all of us, or all except the very richest.

Possible cuts to fire fighting is one such area. According to yesterday’s Independent, up to 10,000 fire fighters may lose their jobs given that there will be a cut of 25% in funding. Of course it is likely (although not stated) that this figure applies to England, as all the mainstream media is Anglo centric, but despite the financial acumen of John Swinney, Scotland cannot ride all of these cuts like nothing has happened.

No matter how rich you are, if your house is burning down, you have trouble. And I imagine that the costs of home insurance will increase if there is a greater likelihood of your house being burnt to the ground, rather than damaged in a conflagration.

The other area which will affect all but the super rich is the announcement that people in England will have to wait longer for cancer tests.

The Coalition is to go back on Labour's pledge for all cancer patients to undergo diagnostic tests within a week of being seen by their GP. This could leave 1.8 million people with suspected cancer facing a longer wait for tests over the next five years. During the election campaign the Tories accused Labour of "scaremongering" when they said cancer care would be threatened by a Conservative government.

Unless you can afford to travel abroad for your cancer test, or you have top flight private health insurance, it is unlikely that you will be able to escape this.

Again, this is not a Scottish issue. (I have been unable to unearth how long it takes in Scotland. It may be longer or shorter than in England.) However, despite the ring fencing of the health budget here, it is unlikely that the situation will get any better even if it gets no worse.

I’m told that in France, it is the next day.

Why can’t it be like that here?


  1. Tris

    Yeah but if it takes longer for English people to have Cancer tests then logically(through my prism) more of them will die is this a bad thing(from a snp perspective)..............its a joke a bad joke perhaps but just a joke.....

    anyway seeing as most poor people die of cancer and they also live in the poorest areas of London'

    You can see the Tory strategy to empty The Capital of the poor linked to this is the Housing benefit if they cant get you out by cutting your housing benefit you are be struggling to pay then due to eating cheap crap and food and being unable to have a healthyish lifestyle.........

    they will quickly become ill and soon die thus giving some much needed housing to the upwardly(prone to vote Tory) mobile...

    and of course the fact they will probaly be black and from an ethnic minority is part of the tory plan to.....

    see i know this because i read mein kampf ...

    As i said to Cameron the other day 'is this playing Fair'...........he replied

    it is the way i play it

  2. All households will be issued with fire buckets and basic instructions as to there basic use. Competence certificates will issued to those authorised to handle such buckets and courses will be set up to gain relevant tickets expected to take approx 6 months during which time no benefits will be paid.

    It is estimated that this saving in government expenditure will allow us to reduce the tax burden on the hard pressed 2% top earners creating millions of part time firefighting jobs helping us reduce the overall unemployed and deficit in one stroke.

  3. Yes Niko. He's being fair to everyone...erm... he learnt fairness on the playing fields of Eton you know.

  4. Oh CH. I didn't know you were a Cabinet Minister. I'd have treated you with erm... more respect had only I known...