The march, organised by the Trade Unions Congress (TUC) and featuring a speech from Labour leader Ed Miliband, was on the most part a peaceful protest. The largest public march since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 saw families and senior citizens, amidst thousands of others, carrying posters, banging drums and chanting slogans. Memorable slogans include, ‘Don’t break Britain’, ‘Defend our public services’ and ‘No to cuts’.
But a clear splinter group from the TUC protesters turned to violence to prove their point. The group wore masks and hoodies in order to hide from CCTV cameras whilst they vandalised shops and banks around central London. Some threw paint and smoke bombs as others plastered buildings with anti budget graffiti. Four policemen were injured by the splinter group with one reportedly hospitalised. Fifteen protesters were also injured during the riot and have been condemned by TUC protesters for inciting violence. Over two hundred people have already been arrested in connection with the riots with more arrests expected.
Those opposing the budget aren’t denying that cuts are necessary and inevitable in the wake of the 2008 banking crisis. What is disputed is the manner and severity with which these cuts are being carried out. The budget has been criticised for planning to eliminate the deficit in just four years and its lack of flexibility in the face of economic instability it’s hardly a fool-proof plan. Opposition groups are calling for benefits affecting the lower and working classes to remain intact and for the deficit to be eliminated through taxation. As it stands however, no clear and viable alternative to George Osborne’s budget has surfaced.
Analysts at Nichols and Meyer Capital Partners believe that the protests may have arisen in the first place due to some transparent manoeuvres on the budget. The budget quite obviously reduced petrol prices following a barrage of bad press, in order to appease the masses in the face of harsh cuts and tax increases. It is this obvious duping of the public, in an attempt to cut the budget by 19% that has been said to spur on protests.
David Cameron is standing by Osborne’s budget and its non-existent plan-B, believing it will restore fiscal security to Britain during times of economic uncertainty. The coalition claims there is no alternative.
# # #
Nichols & Meyer Capital Partners provides comprehensive wealth management and financial services with the goal of helping clients to maximize the utilization of their financial resources. We take an intensely personal approach in managing our clients’ wealth and focus on enabling the achievement of life goals based upon each client's unique situation, individual needs and risk tolerance.