Austerity policies a disaster for majority | Letters: Russell Brand, Mark Rylance, Len McCluskey, Mazine Peake, Peter Hain MP and others


In what we hope was his last budget, George Osborne made a series of false claims about his economic record (Editorial, 20 March). The reality is that his priority is to raise profits for the corporations, top executive salaries and bonuses, at the expense of ordinary working people. His achievement is the slowest ever “recovery” from recession, while ordinary people suffer increasing hardship during the longest continuous fall in living standards since records began. That is the real Tory record of this parliament. All those who have seen their real wages fall understand the real effects of austerity policies, along with people forced into low-paid or zero-hours contracts, families forced into using food banks and everyone suffering rising A&E waiting lists. Austerity policies have not reduced the public-sector deficit to the level its supporters claimed. The limited fall in the deficit is a result of hugely damaging cuts to government investment as well as the windfall of falling global interest rates, which are a sign of economic weakness.

Austerity policies have failed everyone but the super-rich, bankers and landlords who have benefited from the government’s tax cuts, bonuses and measures to boost house prices, but not home building. We call for an end to austerity policies. We need to invest in a future for the majority of the population. That’s why we’ll be supporting the People’s Assembly Against Austerity national demonstration and festival against austerity on Saturday 20 June.

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