Well, yes Polly, here’s what this means

This austerity has seen cuts “unprecedented” in our history, says Johnson. But much worse is to come unless we change our ways. Assuming we want to keep present standards – not improve them but just maintain them – then on Office for Budget Responsibility reckonings, by 2068 nearly a quarter of our spending will be on the NHS, pensions and social care. This isn’t a guess, because the people who will need that care and those pensions are alive already. That means everything else will have to be severely cut back – or tax must rise to pay for it. Borrowing more is certainly possible, especially for investment. But paying more tax for services is the irreducible choice no politician dare put to the people.

That is, on the taxes we pay we cannot afford the welfare state we’ve already promised ourselves.

That’s pretty much what the right has been saying all these decades, isn’t it? Meaning that the right was right, nu?

17 comments on “Well, yes Polly, here’s what this means

  1. George Osborne raised taxes on those with higher incomes by a lot (partly by eliminating tax evasion, cutting back on tax avoidance and a series of “minor” changes that would only affect a few people each time).
    So Polly’s headline is, as one might expect, a lie.
    There is one bit that *is* true – we cannot afford the Social Care that the poor need out of the Social Care budgets that local authorities are willing to approve so too many care homes have gone bust while in others self-funding residents/patients are heavily subsidising those funded by local authorities; today’s BBC news website says that Allied Healthcare is in danger of going bust next month. The private sector is paying for the public sector’s refusal/failure to pay its bills.

  2. But paying more tax for services is the irreducible choice

    How about ‘not wasting as much of it’? Actual wastage, rather than things I disagree with.

    And “austerity”?

  3. When the home office spends £400 million on a new office building that it subsequently decides is not suitable after all, I conclude that, like everything the Tory party has done for the last 20 years, austerity was a lie.

    The reason Dave always hated Tel Gurl was that he was merely a world class charlatan and she had galactic credentials.

  4. This – 461795 3m ago

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    If you claim to be in favour of higher taxes, but you yourself do not voluntarily make contributions (tax payments or charitable giving) up to the level you think you should be taxed at – then you are a hypocrite.

    Discuss.

  5. Pingback: Polly Toynbee – Idiot. – Longrider

  6. Here’s another good comment from Walkamongus on that thread:

    When I was a kid, I recall certain types seemed to believe that ‘taxing the rich’ would be the answer to everyone else’s problems. So that’s what happened and it wasn’t.

    Those same people, or people like them, now seem to believe that taxing big US corporations would be the answer to everyone else’s problems. So that’s what will happen and it won’t be.

    The problem is that it’s always very convenient and preferable to think some one else should be made to pay for everything. It’s a very child-like ideology.

  7. Dennis:
    Much though I dislike her, that is unfair. The grauniad permits critical comments to most of her articles. Also she is not quite as stupid and doesn’t often reverse her views overnight.
    She was utterly spoiled and does not understand the concept of working for a living but that does not make her as bad as Murphy.

  8. @john77 – I’ve seen articles where she has joined in “below the line” and her comments were as equally vile as Murphys . She can’t take criticism that’s for sure.

  9. Richard Murphy in drag.

    Pictures of this on every fag packet in Britain, replacing the graphic images of cancer, etc.

    It’s practically a cure for cancer in our lifetime.

  10. ‘Everyone wants to live at the expense of the State. They forget that the State wants to live at the expense of everyone else.’ Bastiat

  11. @ moqifen
    I haven’t seen those comments but it still implies that she does not block all critical comments, unlike Murphy, however much the spoiled brat loathes them.

  12. @john 77 – it was a while ago (don,t bother reading guardian online now – you can guess 99% of comments without reading them – evil tories, orange man bad etc) but i was struck at the time how petty she seemed. As for not blocking criticism – have you seen how many comments don’t meet their community standards ? Hypocrites – comment is (un)free.

  13. I don’t believe for a second that spending more money is the solution.

    The BMA are currently fighting more automation, like say, patients ding more stuff with apps and computers because it means GPs will have to do more harder cases. The opposite of improving productivity.

    We’ve got coppers arresting people for a tasteless Grenfell parody. All the tapes and murders solved, are they?

    It’s dysfunctional and the more in excess of what is absolutely necessary, the more will get pissed away.

  14. ‘Assuming we want to keep present standards – not improve them but just maintain them – then on Office for Budget Responsibility reckonings, by 2068 nearly a quarter of our spending will be on the NHS, pensions and social care’

    2068 ?!?!

    I disagree with most everything John Maynard Keynes ever said, but he nailed this:

    “Long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run, we are all dead.”

  15. @ Bloke on M4
    My GP surgery does have computers and touch-screens to save receptionist’s work and make life simpler for the doctors.
    The guy types a few words onto the screen instead of writing out stuff for his assistant (who no longer exists) to type out and post

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