PREVIEW: Is Austerity on the Minds of Westminster Again?

By Edward Ferrin – Business & Economics Editor

People will remember times in the past when we have paid higher taxes but have received lower salaries, cuts to public services, and less in our pockets at the end of the week. Winter brings with it the realities of having to pay higher energy bills, higher food costs, and of course, the annual spend for the festive season at Christmas. After their election in 2010, and the 2008 Economic Crash, the newly elected Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in London imposed measures to help ease the financial pressures across the United Kingdom. Their policy of austerity was criticised by many left-leaning opinions because of the “freezing” of public sector job salaries and the “cuts” to public services where those jobs were employed in the health service, schools, and the Civil Service.

Nick Clegg (left) and David Cameron holding a press conference after the announcement of their 2010 Coalition, BBC

Lately, Boris Johnson has fallen under the pressures of social care services in England and has taken the bold step to increase National Insurance contributions to help fund improvements to care home services for elderly patients. This has been a highly unpopular move with those who have felt the butt of austerity measures throughout the last decade. Here in Northern Ireland, the leaders of most of the major parties have hit out at the recent measures introduced by the Tories in Westminster. They are united in their opposition to the cut being made to the £20 “top-up” on Universal Credit payments. Opponents accuse the government of putting more claimants back into poverty rather than protecting working class families and children from poverty…

Read more when the next issue of the Gown goes live.

Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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