It was 3 o’clock when I eventually reached Piccadilly so I dropped out of the march and went home. The speakers had already addressed the rally and gone. So what would I have said if I’d have had the chance? Here’s my Speech for the Alternative:
‘I am just one voice, but we are many. The Government says tackling the deficit is essential. And the Organisation for Economic Co-operation agrees with him. George Osborne waved the latest OECD report summary
and said the measures he’s taking are necessary. Yes, necessary steps do need to be taken – but this doesn’t mean the government’s taking the right ones. Our Chancellor said the OECD backs up his measures because they’re “wide-ranging.” Well, that’s stating the bleeding obvious. And it’s the poor and vulnerable who will bleed the most.
But the OECD summary said other things which Osborne seems to have missed. It said “A broad based recovery started in end–2009”. My memory might be faulty but I don’t think the ConDems were in power then, were they?
What else is the Government ignoring? Well, let’s ask the OECD
again. It said, “Economic recovery and job creation would both benefit from smaller-than-planned cuts in public investment.” That’s worth repeating: SMALLER CUTS.
Other countries have had to reduce deficits. And, yes, they’ve made cuts. But they’ve also increased tax revenue at the same time. For every £100 of reduction in the UK deficit, £80 will come from spending cuts and only £20 from tax increases
. Yet what did the OECD say? SMALLER CUTS.
And while you’re at it, Mr Cameron, do try harder to collect those taxes which go uncollected every year. And you’ve got to tackle those banks that are “too big to fail”. The OECD says so.
The Government says our budget situation is so serious they’ve got no alternative but to slash public expenditure. The deficit’s the worst in over sixty years. But in 1948, when our economy really was on its knees, from those ashes rose the welfare state.
The Government is embarking on an experiment – an experiment that could fail. And if it does, the millionaires in the Cabinet won’t be paying the price because they can afford it. It will be our country and our children.’
OK, now it’s over to you. What would be your Speech for the Alternative?