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Friday, 18 April 2014

Everyone making sacrifices?

Bureaucratic changes are always clunky, complicated and most often unnecessarily baffling.

But applied to save public money when funds are short and debts are high, they tend to have at least a seed of logic at their core.

This week families at the higher end of the income scale will receive letters telling them they are to lose all or part of their Child Benefit payments.

And in spite of controversy surrounding withdrawal of a universal benefit, created to help give all children the best possible start in life, the principle of cutting back on support for families who can afford to look after themselves is a hard one to argue in the current climate.

There are anomalies in the new clumsy system of claiming, declaring income and paying back what’s been paid from the public purse.

It won’t be universally popular – losing money never is.

And political arguments for and against change provide a smokescreen through which it can be difficult to decipher the truth of impact.

But few could doubt now that if the poorest are to receive help, the better-off have to make sacrifices.

Sound like a plan? Only until you hear Workington Town Council wants to spend £250,000 buying the town hall from Allerdale council for its meetings.

Then it sounds like – Austerity or no austerity – nothing much changes after all.

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