Sunday, 24 April 2016


From The Guardian

The three councils that have suffered the least from cuts in George Osborne’s controversial budget are represented by Tory cabinet ministers, a new analysis shows.

Wokingham, Surrey, and Windsor and Maidenhead have all seen the lowest cuts to their budgets despite being the three least deprived areas in the country. The areas cover the constituencies of five cabinet ministers: Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt, Chris Grayling, Philip Hammond and Michael Gove. The areas also received £33.5m in the transitional grant announced earlier in the year.

Not "despite", "because".

I spoke to one of the Swindon MPs a few years ago and he told me that the constituency was hardly going to be touched by the cuts. And the reason was that Swindon is heavily private sector, and not even the private sector serving the state, like companies that build websites for fakecharities, but more what you might call real private sector. If you take out the public sector stuff that has to be local - police, fire, hospitals, local government, there isn't much left. Plus, there wasn't much in the way of deprivation.

This has meant historically that certain places don't get a lot of money, but that's the basic, constant stuff. It meant when Brown was upping spending, places like Windsor and Maidenhead didn't get it.

I'd also like to say something about deprivation: I'm all in favour of getting rid of deprivation. But I'm absolutely convinced that services to deal with it (rather than cold hard cash) are a racket to create jobs. I've seen the growth of antisocial behaviour on some estates in my lifetime, and a ton of money poured into schemes employing people, or sending the police round and none of it has made a jot of difference. Building more prisons, increasing the number of police, having more "community projects"... none of it works. It creates more income for A4E, policemen, local artists. Cutting spending will make little difference.


Lola said...

Crikey! Serendipity strikes AGAIN!

Mark Wadsworth said...

Agreed, and L, I have left a comment over at ASI (also agreeing).

Sobers said...

The vast majority of State spending on 'deprivation', other than the actual welfare cash put in poor people's pockets, is purely to provide middle class people with not very demanding jobs that they can't be sacked from, on suitably middle class salaries, and a hefty pension on retirement. Any help they might accidentally provide to the underclasses is entirely accidental.

Indeed the last thing they all want is for poverty to be eliminated, that puts them all out of a job.

Bayard said...

S, yup, that's 90% of the charity industry in a nutshell.