Let me begin with this, taxes are good. They are one of the best things that we do (when done properly) in this world. Without paying taxes, we wouldn’t have a lot of things that we have today such as roads, state schools, police, hospitals or a military as these are all paid for using taxes.
In the UK we spend roughly £502bn of taxes each year and this is divided into multiple categories such as health, benefits, defense, education and so on.
The conservative government believes that we spend too much on helping other people (£180bn) but specifically in the form of benefits (£125bn) and want to reduce this number by £12bn. The image below shows how the “helping others” part of taxes is divided up. The largest component of this is spent on the elderly (£85bn), mainly in the form of state pensions, next is on the sick and disabled (£35bn), then the socially excluded (£24bn), then on family and children (£22bn) and then finally we get to the Tory main target of unemployment benefits (£9bn).
One of the ways the government want to reduce the cost of supporting the unemployed is by restricting who can get it by a third. Based on figures from March 2015, that’s at least over 263,000 people who will no longer be able to claim unemployment benefits and this will only save the government £3bn.
So where are they going to get the final £9bn? It won’t be from the pensioners, they are too valuable to any party because they all vote and that is obviously very valuable. This is why when everywhere is seeing cuts, the OAPs get a winter fuel allowance. On the other hand, given the Tory pledge to supply double the existing free childcare provision for three and four-year-olds, to 30 hours a week, costing the government £5,000 more per year per family (BBC, April 2015), I think we can expect a substantial cut in one area of family and children benefits if they are increasing spending.
The Tories see welfare as an easy place to make cuts, all they have to do is do the regular rounds with the tabloids to reinforce the fact that some people get money from the government to do nothing all day (a gross misrepresentation of people on job seeker’s allowance). Personally I wouldn’t be surprised to see tuition fees rise next; after all if it wasn’t for the Lib Dems, tuition fees would be much higher than they are now at £9k.
So with £12bn of welfare cuts, scrapping the human rights act, bringing in the snoopers charter and a likely increase on tuition fees, there’s only really one thing I want to say. Great Britain, you f*cked up!
Both graphs are from Where Does My Money Go, they supply lots of information on how taxes are spent.