I don’t know if it is more reasonable to say we are living in a time of Economic Chaos, or that the Actions & Consequences of Governments are very predictable but highly delusional and potentially catastrophic. You decide!
I am a Town Councilor and Prospective County Councilor. I have been in local politics before. I know most local Councillors work hard and are committed to supporting their Local Communities as best they can; using what they have made available and according to their philosophies.
MP’s and Ministers get significant Salaries & Expenses. County Councilors can get generous ‘Expenses’; Chief Executives & Senior Managers of Councils get High Salaries & Pensions. Town & Parish Councilors get nothing and all their work is voluntary. The value of Professional & Skilled People’s salaries are diminishing and those of many workers & Pensioners are below economic sustainability. Not a good basis for doing good works.
However, Wiltshire Council has done such a bad job since it became a Unitary Authority & now Central Government have cut back Local Authority funds so deeply, it means real cutbacks in all Community services, sometimes to the point where some Community services ‘No Longer Exist’. (Like in the case of Local Authority provided Youth Service Facilities and Maintenance of Community Spaces).
I hear constant Complaints & Criticisms by our local people; who believe all Councilors have failed them and are doing nothing to improve their lives. I can understand that feeling and it is almost impossible to get many to understand that we can do nothing to fill the gap except help out voluntarily and help them to do the same. There are not enough Funds at Town & Parish Council Level to fill the gaps and take on the services that the Counties have dumped on us.
People really need to understand that the situation is now extreme & dire. The general economy of Britain (and, for that matter, the US and much of the World) has been grossly mismanaged. Income levels of citizens have fallen in real terms because of combinations of Inflation and reductions of the value of currencies. That means less tax income at a time when this Government is also reducing taxes for the Rich & High Earners. The increased cost of temporary staff adds to this further.
Because of these economic pressures, staffing levels in Businesses and in our critical Community Services, are often cut back to the limit and the burden falls on those remaining in work. Even the best of those left then become stressed, overworked, inefficient and even ill, or else avoid becoming ill, by leaving their increasingly stressful jobs. The services provided then start to fail further. This often means costly compensations and longer-term cost of rebuilding/recovery. Meanwhile, ‘Agency Staff’ employed to fill in are usually significantly more expensive.
The failing Health, Professional, Social & Local Community Services means that this additional burdens of ill health, social problems, unemployed young, family breakdown, homelessness & other personal & family catastrophes, falls on remaining family members. The already overburdened Statutory & Voluntary Sectors cannot meet the further increased demand. They are suffering the unavoidable consequences of poor investment. There are also longer-term social and consequential financial risks that result from inadequate resources to meet the critical social needs.
The overstretched families and the community volunteers (in turn) are eventually unable to maintain their full employment attendance and normal levels of efficiency; they too become overworked, overburdened; stressed, ill and then ‘go sick’. Many leave their voluntary work and/or jobs. This, of course, creates an even heavier burden on those others that choose to remain. The availability of skilled replacements diminishes and funds and time are not available to adequately train up new recruits in good time (Critical services jobs are filled by Immigrants).
That is just about where we are at in much of Wiltshire and Britain in general.
This is not a Hypothesis.It is not an Economic Prediction or Conspiracy Theory. This is not a political argument, dogma, or philosophical issue. It is our economy breaking down right now and its effects are noticeable in all Professional Services, Local Businesses, Voluntary Organisations and people’s daily lives that I meet every day.
If people believe, like our Current Government & Media does, that everything is in hand; it is just a dip in the markets; things are on the up; the economy is growing; austerity is a temporary evil; the problem is because of immigrant health workers & farm labour; the fault of bureaucrats in Europe, etc. then we are all living in cloud Cookoo Land and there is no hope for the near future.
This, however, is a Prediction:
If there is not a serious change in economic strategy very soon, which allows for this increased borrowing (that Government has been engaged in) to invest in the rebuilding of our Economy, Small to Medium-sized Businesses, our Local Communities, Health & Social Care , Infrastructure, Social Housing and Community Support Services of all kinds. Britan will be recognised as Bankrupt of Funds, Ideas, Morality & Competence.
Britain’s status and prestige are already lower than at any time in its recent history. Our Credit Rating (by the assessment of Private Credit Rating Companies) is slipping. Our credibility for further Government & Business Borrowing (in order to ‘grow’ the Economy and our Businesses) is falling so hard it is going ‘through’ the floor.We are about to step into that gaping hole – Brexit and unhealthy reliance on US Collaborations & Trading Agreements.