Sunday, April 27, 2008

Still Not A Family

I have, as with most things, ranted about this before, or at least touched upon it. I went so far as to broach the question with David himself (can't find the link, sorry) via WebCameron, and got a response, if a rather oblique one about children being the future etc etc.

Well, here we go again. A year after the tax measures designed to make single people pay for other people's kids in a slightly more obvious way than usual were announced, and within days of said measures being actioned, everyone in Westminster appears to have realised that actually quite a lot of single people exist, and have votes. Not that anyone wants to call us that: I heard an MP on Radio 4 refer to single people as 'single childless families' last week, the very pinnacle of on-message stupidity. Politicians are so used to saying hard-working families now that they just can't get their heads around the idea of someone not being in a family.

Will this change anything? Well, not in terms of actual policy, no. The whole point of this exercise was to get more tax money overall: to give all of the extra back to the people it was taken from is economically unviable and represents no intrinsic political gain - you don't get points for fixing problems you caused, so it's cheaper to leave it unfixed. The harsh fact is that politicians believe families and the wealthy should be targeted because they represent more votes, and it doesn't really matter whether this is actually true or not.

I neither gain nor lose from this budget, being on around twenty thousand - still well below the average wage but above the danger zone of £18,500 - but I am among what you might call the functionally impoverished: people whose credit bills are now self-sustaining and who cannot afford to do any more than eat, drink and tread economic water. According to Mr Brown I am meant to work my way out of poverty: hard to do that if the money you earn is taken away as soon as you earn it. Whether it's by the banks or the Treasury, the result is the same.

Now that single people have been recognised as actual humans by the government, will they also recognise credit card debtors as being due the same sympathy as mortgage debtors? Hard to say. 'Households' is another favourite word for politicians to use instead of 'people': people without houses aren't really people at all, it seems.

And what the hell is it with David Miliband lately? I'm pretty sure the Foreign Secretary is not supposed to double as Prime Ministerial Bodyguard... I swear to God, if Gordon Brown is Blofeld, Miliband is the fucking cat.

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