Former Chancellor George Osborne has come under fire on Twitter after appearing to suggest that plunging more people into poverty was in the national interest.
David Cameron also joined in the gloating, eager to retweet Osborne’s insensitive tweet, claiming painful austerity “was the right thing to do”.
We got there in the end – a remarkable national effort. Thank you. https://t.co/8D23AKbuwH
— George Osborne (@George_Osborne) March 1, 2018
It was the right thing to do https://t.co/d4g2fFma23
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) March 1, 2018
However, Twitter users were quick to remind the two about the tragic social cost of cuts to vital public services and social security benefits, including rising numbers of people turning to foodbanks and ‘unnecessary deaths’.
Here's @George_Osborne crowing about austerity… & here's IMF graph showing the damage done by austerity around the world. Behind each point lie thousands of careers ruined, homes repossessed, hungry children – and, yes, many, many deaths. A human catastrophe. A complete waste. pic.twitter.com/OreAigZK1L
— Richard Power Sayeed (@PowerSayeed) March 1, 2018
George it's a shame vulnerable people were made to pay for your friends in the city wrecking the economy. I notice you chose to leave the billions stashed offshore by the people that fund your party alone.
— Duncan (@Duncan82669814) March 2, 2018
And all it cost was 120,000 unnecessary extra deaths since 2010! https://t.co/eOH4gMZoXk
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) March 1, 2018
I'm sure your gratitude will be posthumously appreciated by those who died as a result of your policies. "National effort" implies a choice, of which there was none.
— Matt Neil Hill (@mattneilhill) March 1, 2018
John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said: “This is truly shameless opportunism by the former Chancellor who is trying to rewrite history and distract from his record of failure.
“He is also insulting the millions of people in our country who have suffered these last 8 years due to this Tory austerity agenda he and his party devised, which has pushed our public services into crisis and overseen plummeting living standards.
“There are people in our country right now struggling to feed their families, find a school for their children, keep a roof over their heads or heat their homes who will not welcome his egotistical boasting.
“People are suffering due to the Tory austerity cuts Osborne pushed through while at the same time handing out billions in tax giveaways that a rich few like himself can benefit from.
“The legacy of Osborne’s austerity is record numbers forced to rely on foodbanks, the highest number of children being taken into care since the 80s and real pay lower today than it was when the Tories came into office while wealth inequality has continued to rise.
“Let’s also not forget that when George Osborne entered Downing Street he promised to eliminate the deficit by 2015 and failed to deliver on his central economic goal.
“Now his successor Philip Hammond still cannot achieve this yet continues with the same failed economic policy.”