Monday, 20 June 2011

The costs of war and Tory cuts to the social fabric

The deputy editor of the Guardian on the Libya conflict draws some interesting parallels:


...the total bill by autumn is likely to be £400m-£1bn.

... the cost to the UK taxpayer of bombing Gaddafi for six months is
  • four times the cut to the arts budget;
  • three times the sum saved by Ken Clark's controversial sentencing reforms;
  • more than the proposed cuts to the legal aid budget;
  • about the same as the savings from ending the education maintenance allowance (EMA);
  • or three times the amount saved by scrapping the disability living allowance.
... when it comes to military action there is a curious reluctance to apply the same scrutiny to the bottom line as we do to every other area of public spending. As the New Yorker's Amy Davidson puts it: "There is something almost pathological about the way we don't talk about budgets when we talk about war … as if brave men don't think about things like money."

Anyone who has the temerity to ask how much Britain's Libya campaign is costing is reassured that it is all being paid for from Treasury reserves, so we needn't worry our pretty little heads. But anyone who has lost their EMA or disability living allowance could quite justifiably wonder why cash can be found for bombs but not for them.

No comments:

Post a Comment