view from the side: George Osborne Wants To Axe Child Tax Credit, Is Evil


Remember at school when you used to learn about the Victorian times? You know, with the homeless children living with their whole families on the street and people with mental health problems locked up in charity run asylums because there was no welfare state? That’s what the Tories want. Remember those fat-cat landlords and poorhouse owners gorging on pies and brandy while little Oliver Twist gets declined another spoonful of gruel? That’s who the Tories are.

I exaggerate, because no Conservative believes that this is what their belief system represents: they do really believe that their wealth benefits everyone through the, as of yet unsubstantiated, idea of trickle down economics. However, in less than 24 hours time George Osborne is to announce his budget cuts, and among the funds he is slashing are a few of the vital services that keep this country that crucial step away from that Dickensian level of disparity between the quality of life of the rich and poor.

The Child Tax Credit is an allowance paid to anyone with one child earning less than £26,000 or two children earning less than £32,200. This money often subsidises a single parent’s full time minimum wage paying job and goes towards the basics to sustain a family: healthy food, nappies and children’s clothes. When a huge amount of employers do not provide a living wage to their lowest paid workers, the extra money is crucial to the nations’s poorest and hardest workers, let alone the unemployed who the Conservatives never pretended to care about anyway.

George Osborne wants to cut this fund, obviously, and the Institute of Fiscal Studies reckon this could plunge 300,000 more British children into poverty on top of the 3.5 million already living below the breadline. British children, our British children! From the ninth richest country in the world! The one that won the war with Germany, had an empire once and invented tennis. Yes, that one, us.

The question I ask myself, loudly enough for any close by Tories to overhear, is, with all this mention of “British values” and “British pride” and so on used in the right wing media to galvanise support of David Cameron and George Osborne’s policies, what have we to be proud of and what are our values? Is it enough to be one of the richest countries in the world if we don’t provide for our neediest? Without the systems that support and uplift the most vulnerable, the term “British values” is as meaningless as a disembodied Edwardian moustache on a keyring or phone cover.

Through 38 Degrees you can register your disgruntlement at the proposed budget slash by emailing the treasury within the next 36 hours before George Osborne sets it in stone, and if not change his mind then at least give him the most annoying 36 hours of his life as you send, resend and resend again.