The UK’s youngest MP destroys Theresa May’s first go at PMQs with a single comment

Support us and go ad-free

Responding to a question from Jeremy Corbyn at her debut Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs), Theresa May confirmed her government will continue ideological austerity:

He calls it austerity. I call it living within our means.

But the UK’s youngest MP, Mhairi Black, had the perfect response:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) has estimated that the lifetime cost of Trident could be up to £205bn. Meanwhile, the profit trails for nuclear weapons are very concerning. The Canary’s Steve Topple notes that HSBC and Barclays finance both Russian and British nukes.

Black has rightly called May out for being prepared to spend billions on Trident, while the Conservative government removes vital support for disabled people and makes huge cuts to the education system and NHS. With the £205bn the government plans to spend on Trident, we could employ 300,000 nurses, build 3 million affordable homes or pay the tuition fees for 8 million students.

And most significantly, investing in infrastructure and healthcare would actually yield long-term economic benefits, while austerity only piles on more debt. George Osborne left £1.6 trillion of debt with the taxpayer when he ended his tenure.

When we founded the NHS and built over a million new homes – 80% of which were social housing – under Clement Attlee’s post-war government, public debt was at 225% of GDP. Between 1945 and 1980 national debt had fallen to just 43% of GDP. That’s because the economy is not a household – the government has to spend money to make money. For example, constructing social housing is jam-packed with economic benefits. When you build a social house the money does not just disappear, but costs are returned to the state through rent payments.

Further, the taxpayer does not just break even in providing security for families with an affordable home. Social tenants will be freed from parasitical landlords charging huge rents. This means they will have significantly more disposable income, which they will likely put back into the economy. Construction also stimulates the economy through increasing demand for jobs and supplies.

As well as being a great macroeconomic policy, it is also a logical way to reduce the welfare bill. The Treasury saves £4.5bn annually in housing benefit, for the £1.25bn annual grant for social housing.

The SNP’s Black summarised the contradiction at the heart of the Conservatives’ economic policy – we have money for nukes, but not to provide a civil welfare state to civilians. And most importantly, providing such a welfare state is the key to reducing public debt – austerity only piles it on.

Get involved!

See the six steps that need to be taken to save the NHS here.

See other articles at The Canary on Trident.

Featured image via Facebook/Mhairi Black and UK Home Office.

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed