I suggested last week that all Conservative budgets have a habit of unravelling. Sunak’s has followed that seemingly inevitable path.
Domestically, the nurses’ pay offer is symbolic of the austerity implicit within it. This was no giveaway budget, unless you were big business.
The allocation of supposed levelling up grants revealed that corruption is deeply embedded within this government. The bias towards Tory seats must be visible from space, so blatant is it.
The £20 cut to universal credit was a measure revealing utter indifference to the least well off.
But the most telling comment has come from the United Nations. As the Guardian has reported this morning:
In a message of rare bluntness, the head of the UN’s Office for Humanitarian Affairs has said UK ministers have decided to “balance the books on the backs of the starving people of Yemen”. Mark Lowcock says the decision to halve its funds to Yemen will see tens of thousands die and damage the UK’s global influence. It is understood he was given no chance to appeal to the UK to rethink.
Lowcock’s message was simple, direct and wholly appropriate. The government has put a false and doctrinaire economic demand, that it balance its books, ahead of the needs of people who will die as a result of its decision.
That is shocking. But then, so too has been the government’s management of coronavirus been shocking. After all, it put a false and doctrinaire economic demand, that it keep the economy open to reduce its cost, ahead of the needs of people who died as a result of that decision.
When false economics doctrine costs lives it is time for it to be replaced, and for those who peddle it to be called out for their crimes. And yes, I know there is no crime that they can be found guilty of, but that does not stop there being a crime. The crime of indifference to the death of others arising as a consequence of your actions is one by which politicians should be judged. Sunak is guilty, in my opinion.