Tuesday, 27 October 2015

A Modest Proposal for Solving the Tax Credit Crisis

In the interests of stimulating debate on a matter of national importance to Britain, my advisers have suggested that a private communication with our esteemed Chancellor, Gideon Oliver Osborne, should now be made public.
Dear Chancellor,
One can only share your perturbation at the decision of the House of Lords to reject your plan to remove from the pockets of the poor a large share of their income. However, your ingenious scheme to lower their state subsidies and so to encourage them to work harder has unfortunately overlooked something. I must say that I was surprised by this omission. The very essence of your policy is to improve the lot of ‘hard working families’. But, despite the aforesaid objective, you have failed to see that it contains within its own title the solution to the problem at hand, namely how to save £4.5 billion from the public purse.
To make my opinion plain, I wholeheartedly agree that such a saving will help right the ship of state in the world’s stormy seas. Nevertheless, the point I must raise is that not all members of such families are actually ‘hard working’ and will not become so within the current parliamentary term, despite your proposed measures. I do not propose myself as a paragon of virtue in the respect of being hard working, since my real estate advisers inform me that my property assets have been working harder than I have in recent years to earn an honest income. However, I must point out how much more indolent, even than your humble servant, are those members of families that do not work at all for their daily bread! Of course, the most flagrant examples I must bring to your attention are those called ‘children’.
It is well known that these creatures can wreak havoc in neat and tidy homes; they eat and drink – but often cannot use a WC; they are foolish in their conversation and prone to believing in ridiculous absurdities such as ‘fairness’ and ‘sharing’;[1] they are calculated to cost the country many times what you have attempted to save in your tax credit policy, simply in the costs of their schooling and medical care! How can this evident fact have been ignored by your policy proposals?
Such a damaging, debilitating burden of children on the country must be removed! Doubtless, this will be seen as a too-radical policy measure, since not all have begun to see the advantages of dogs to overcome their isolation. Many seem to favour these unreasonably more expensive ‘human’ animals. But that is where a strong, clear-headed policy maker can win the day and lead the nation!
May the Good Lord help you to see a way out of your impasse, and I humbly submit to you my considered thoughts on this matter.
With all joy deserved, and wishing you an exquisite Poll-tax moment,

Yours sincerely,
Jonathan Swift[2]

[1] One would have thought that the lesson that there is no such thing as society would have penetrated even their undeveloped brains!
[2] For those who do not get the reference, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal

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