Austerity measures could lead to abject poverty in UK

‘Austerity measures could lead to abject poverty in UK’

HomeUKEconomy Tue May 12, 2015 5:48PM

Following the Tories’ surprise victory in the recent general elections, there are now rising concerns that the conservative government will go ahead with further spending cuts.

Campaigners, trade unionists and academics have warned against the government’s controversial austerity plans which they say may lead to rise of abject poverty in Britain.

Some observers believe that the austerity measures will take a heavy toll on the most vulnerable people, including the pensioners and the elderly.

“People who claim for the Social Security is generally in the bottom end of the society in the bottom 20% income distribution take up the vast majority of the money,” Keith Pilbeam, Professor of International Economics and Finance at City University told Press TV on Tuesday.
The British government is yet to announce 12 billion pounds in welfare cuts, with some experts saying that this is just tip of the iceberg.

However, Professor Pilbeam believes that the British government cannot implement any further spending cuts.

“I think the 12 billion will actually be very difficult to implement in itself. So I can’t see them engaging in any bigger cuts than that cause that already going to make them very, very unpopular…So it is actually very difficult to engage in a bigger cut than this,” the London-based economist reiterated

Human rights activists have described the austerity measures as a major blow to welfare state in the UK which has already affected the most vulnerable members of society.

The UK government’s austerity program is a series of sustained reductions in public spending, intended to reduce the budget deficit. The program was initiated in 2010 by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. Its original stated goal was to, “achieve cyclically-adjusted current balance by the end of the rolling, five-year forecast period.” At Budget 2010, the end of the forecast period was 2015-16. However, in 2014 the Treasury extended the proposed austerity period until at least 2018.

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