Wednesday 18 May 2022

No you may not have that information

and we have every right to deny you access to it.

Right at the moment there is a rather heated discussion going on about the release of the "costings" for the election promises being made. The present government has released theirs but the would-be government has refused to release theirs - yet. They are saying people can wait.

They are also saying people can not only wait but they might not get all the information they want. "All you need to know is who is going to have the bigger deficit" is what they are telling us. 

Really? I suspect most thinking people will want to know where the money is coming to pay for the promises being made, especially some of the more outlandish promises.

"Oh, we will tax "the rich" more," doesn't quite cut it with me. I am not rich. I am actually poor. I still don't see "the rich" as an endless source of money. 

Many "rich" people - even "the bastards we love to hate" and "those who have minimised their tax" have actually worked extremely hard to get to "rich". Along the way they have employed other people - people who have not had to take the risk of losing everything - and taken on responsibilities most of us would run from. I don't want to suggest they are perfect - far from it. Many of them have done some very dodgy things and "sailed close to the wind" more than once. But these are the people who help to provide employment so that other people can pay their taxes and get the services they need. 

Take too much from these people and they will simply pack up and go somewhere else. It's a balancing act. 

I have already voted of course. The estimated size of the deficit is not something I wanted to know. What I wanted to know (and found out) was what the policies of each party are, who would benefit most, and how they intended to pay for them. With that information in hand and information about the candidates I made a decision. I did a similar thing for the state election - and I now have a list on the freezer door to see how many of their "promises" they are able to keep. (It won't be many.) I'll do the same thing with whoever wins on Saturday.

But we do have a right to that information. It helps people make an informed and responsible choice. Refusing to provide it on the grounds that another government didn't do it until tomorrow is not an excuse. There were other reasons why it did not happen on that other occasion. This is more to do with trying to prevent scrutiny because the "promises" being made cannot be kept. Most people know and expect that. It is the nature of politics. 

What worries me is those less informed people who want to believe they are going to get something for nothing, something "the rich" will simply "give" them.  

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