Buckingham palace will be renovated to the tune of £369 million of tax payers money. Meanwhile foodbanks reach record use with families unable to afford to feed themselves and money is cut from disabled people to make savings.
This news about upgrades to the palace at mammoth costs highlights very well why I get so angry about austerity and cuts.
The need for austerity is a lie and an ideological choice. Cuts are unnecessary. The arguments for this are extensive. Have a read here or simply Google the phrase ‘austerity is ideological’ for more sources than you’ll ever be able to read.
But this story allows us to highlight the austerity con nice and easily; apparently we have £369 million kicking around for a woman in a gold crown and her family. But we don’t have money for the following;
- To prevent 120,000 children being homeless at Christmas
- Disabled people
- A real living wage
- The police
- The NHS
- Decent, or enough, housing
- The fire service
- Teachers and schools
- Womens refuges for women fleeing domestic abuse
- Children centres
That’s just a brief list of all things we can’t afford. For fun if you like, you can see how many more things you can think of that we “can’t afford”.
When you’re done with that fun game, I’ll ask you to remember that apparently we can afford to spend £369 million on doing up a palace for the Queen and the royals.
What frustrates me even more is that within all of the Tory rhetoric since 2010 about needing to save money and getting the public purse in order; there has been this constant insinuation that people relying on welfare are scroungers. The benefit cap is coming in to cut back the amount of money from what people can claim precisely because of this viewpoint. Yet I imagine you would be hard pushed to find another family that have claimed £369 million!
The debates around the monarchy, regarding democracy and modernity, can be had another time. But the willingness of the government to so happily hand £millions to this privileged and elite family demonstrates how ideological Tory austerity is.
There is money for the privileged elite but none for the rest of us.
For me, this is why we need a radical alternative to the direction that the Tories and New Labour have been taking the country in. I would invite you to view the policies that Jeremy Corbyn is championing for the Labour Party and the country.
Jeremy Corbyn will prioritise;
- Health and the NHS
- The economy
- The environment
I didn’t want this to be a party political piece, but at the same time as laying all this negativity out I wanted to let you know that there is an alternative. There is another option that we can pick.
I would be quite happy to give the Queen the money to do up her pad, just so long as the government would admit the money is there for all of these essential things too. If the money really isn’t there for all of it; I know what I would prioritise.