Friday, March 18, 2016

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Harry Leslie Smith writes about the problems with a U.K. budget and economic plan designed to avoid any moral compass:
Nothing better illustrates to me that Osborne is sailing us back to the harsh and socially unsustainable cruelty of the 1930s than his removal of substantial benefits from over 200k disabled citizens to pay for middle class tax relief. We cannot grow or sustain our middle class by starving our poorest members of society.

When he strips our most vulnerable of living a dignified existence through cuts to their benefits it doesn't make our economy stronger, it makes Britain a weaker nation because we have repudiated our greatest national asset: our belief in fair play.

No matter how much Osborne crows about saving the next generation from the vicissitudes of financial uncertainty, it won't happen through tax cuts or increasing the amount one can stash in an ISA, because the real threat to Britain's next generation is low wages and an economy that has become skewered to reward only our most affluent citizens.
Britain can't save its next generation if it doesn't invest in infrastructure all across this country.

Britain can't save its next generation unless it builds affordable homes on a a scale not seen since the days of Attlee and Harold Macmillian in the 1960s.

Britain can't save it's next generation if it doesn't introduce a real living wage instead of topping up the minimum wage.

And Britain most certainly can't save the next generation unless it reduces the cost of education and produces a viable action plan to put our young in gainful employment rather than stocking shelves on zero-hour contracts.

Sadly my fear is that George Osborne has condemned the next generation to the horrors my generation thought we had put to an end. We supported a Britain that believed in fair taxation, fair wages, fair benefits and the rights to all citizens – whether they be rich, poor or in-between – to a life that had both comfort and purpose.
- Meanwhile, Jeremy van Loon reports that the oil sector is still sitting on massive piles of unused cash - even as it demands handouts to clean up its messes. And Matt McClure points out Alberta's pile of unpaid corporate taxes which the NDP government is working on bringing into the province's public coffers.

- Anne Jarvis highlights the recent controversy over French's ketchup as a prime example of the importance of fighting for local jobs rather than allowing corporations to dictate the terms of economic development.

- And Ann Hui reports on the dangers to public health from a lack of CFIA food inspectors. 

- Finally, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is taking a much-needed look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership, including Jacqueline Wilson's analysis of its false environmental promises and Alexandre Maltais' review of its impact on cultural policy. But Jeremy Nuttall notes that the Libs are going out of their way to avoid allowing the public any real input into the deal.

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