Friday, September 25, 2009

What the recession really means

Recessions are fearful things, two consecutive quarters of economic contraction depicted as sharp downward curves on a graph of GDP has awful consequences in the real world; the jobless figures spiral upwards and swingeing cuts are imposed on public services. The bankers who mucked around with collateralised debt obligations and the like never dreamed that their recklessness would trigger the Great Recession but so it has come to pass and as usual it is the poorest in society who will be hit the hardest.

In Coventry, this means that the council is savagely slashing funding to the homelessness charity, Coventry Cyrenians from £2.2million to £750,000. A Cyrenians insider described the news as "devastating" and with good reason. At the moment the Cyrenians' emergency accomodation service takes in 180 people facing homelessness a month. Soon it'll be only able to take in 20 and those will have to be rough sleepers. Homeless people who aren't on the streets will have to be turned away. It doesn't stop there. Another vital service provided by the Cyrenians is its tenant outreach service, gives advice and guidance to people facing eviction. That's going to go too. Coventry's homeless and desperate will be left to fend for themselves.

Meanwhile, one of the world's richest families wants a substantial increase in its already obscenely lavish state hand outs, despite the fact that spending on these greedy parasites has outpaced inflation for years, resulting in the accumulation of a £21 million surplus. MPs are supposed to be powerless to do anything about the £7.9 million paid into the civil list each year - that's not including security costs, by the way which costs tens of millions of pounds more - because of a deal struck by the palace and the treasury in 1972.

Parliament should tear up the outrageous 1972 deal and reform royal finances in a sensible and affordable fashion. An appropriate salary for the Queen would be one linked to national average wages and with a London weighting. An upper limit of say £40,000 would be more than enough. It would be expected that the Windsors would take umbrage at all this but what on earth would they do? Form a union and vote for strike action?

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