Anyone who believes the government line that the alleged turn-round in the economy will lead to better living conditions for all, has failed to understand the nature of our free-market economic system. Last week we heard how the bonus culture has returned with a vengeance for bankers and other top-earners, but this week we hear that local councils – under the cosh financially and having to make £2bn of cutbacks this year – are scrapping many basic public services, or only making them available to those who can pay*. So today we learn that Portsmouth Council is going to start charging for children in care, and will also now charge for dealing with rat infestations (so presumably poor people will soon be heading back to the rat-infested slum conditions of previous centuries ). Luton council is going to start charging for some types of domestic waste removal, while Copeland council is increasing cremation fees.
At the same time a BBC Panorama investigation (program available on BBC Iplayer) has discovered that more than a third of councils in England and Wales are now being forced to subsidise foodbanks, to deal with the increasing levels of food poverty as a result of the government policy of Austerity. So while at the top of society the good times are back and the prices of champagne and other luxury goods soar (last week it was announced that Britain has overtaken Germany as the biggest European buyer of Ferraris, and is now second only to America in world sales), in the lower levels of society ordinary people continue to suffer. Unfortunately this is all the inevitable consequence of a free-market economic system, and things will only get worse unless we take a long hard look at our society and alter the way we do things. For a fuller picture of what our society will look like if we don’t change course pretty soon, click here.