ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED APR 30, 2013
David Cameron claimed on BBC Spotlight last night that, although benefit cuts were set to suck £171 million out of the Cornish economy, this was fine as the coalition Government had helped put ’50,000 more people into work in Cornwall since the last election’. Fifty thousand in three years! Truly astounding!!
No need at all therefore for Cornwall Council in its grand Twenty-Year Plan to aim to build 42,250 more houses (40% for second home and holiday cottage use) and encourage more in-migrants to move here in order to create 50,000 extra jobs. It’s already happened.
The only slight problem with Cameron’s claim was that it’s complete cobblers. The number of people in employment in Cornwall in 2010 was 237,800. The most recent statistics show that in 2012 it was 238,700 (official labour market figures). That’s a rise of 1,000, not 50,000, and still leaves the total 3,000 lower than in 2007. Needless to say, the witless Spotlight journalist allowed Cameron’s grossly inflated claim to pass by entirely unchallenged.
Then there’s Clegg, still banging on about the success of the Lib Dems in not closing one library. In fact they deserve congratulations not condemnation for making austerity fairer. That’s ‘fairer’ as in the biggest percentage fall in income as a result of the budget tax and benefit changes this year, if we ignore the very top 10%, falling on the poorest 10%. And this is even according to highly questionable Treasury data that don’t begin to take into account the 80% of cuts being delivered through public services.
And it’s on top of the impact of changes in 2011 and 2012 that also saw the poorest 10% hit harder than every other group except the top 10%. The most recent changes even leave households with incomes between 50 and 80% of the average actually better off. Is it a coincidence that these are the income groups most likely to vote?