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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 October 2013

It's a robbery not a 'recovery'

Time for a socialist alternative to austerity

Alistair Tice
Osborne: Daylight robbery

Osborne: Daylight robbery   (Click to enlarge)

Tory Chancellor George Osborne won't be coming to Socialism 2013. He doesn't need to attend the 'Are we naturally too greedy for socialism?' workshop because he knows he definitely is, with an estimated personal fortune of £4.3 million.

And he doesn't need to hear 'An introduction to Marxist economics' because last month he claimed: "Those in favour of Plan B have lost the argument... the UK economy has strengthened rapidly over the last six months."

Click to view

Click to view   (Click to enlarge)

Last week's fall in the unemployment figures seem to back Osborne up. They showed more people working than ever, a fall in the number officially unemployed and a big drop in the claimant count.

So what's really happening in the economy? Is Osborne's Plan A for Austerity really working?

Osborne claims, "we're turning a corner." But with the UK's GDP (total output) still 2.7% below the pre-crisis level, this is the slowest economic recovery in history.

No corner has been turned for the 355,000 people going to the Trussell Trust food banks in the last six months. And it's a 'recovery' based on more debt, with a million families a month taking out pay-day loans and the beginning of a new housing bubble - the biggest increase in new jobs has been estate agents!

Meanwhile in the real economy, business investment is down, manufacturing output is still 10% below the 2007 figure and the trade deficit is widening.

So how is unemployment falling? In the last five years, there has been a doubling of those working part-time, who can't find full-time jobs, to 1.45 million. The number of self-employed has risen by 367,000 since 2008.

But this is not a sign of entrepreneurial spirit, more an army of 'odd jobbers' - handymen, cleaners, nannies and taxi drivers. 90% of the newly self-employed are part-time too, with 84% aged 50 and over.

socialism 2013

socialism 2013   (Click to enlarge)

Osborne also claims: "Our plan for the economy is a plan for living standards". For the super-rich, it is! The top 1% of earners have seen their share increase to 10% of total earnings, while the bottom 50% share has fallen to 18%.

An average full-time worker is now £30 a week worse off in real terms than in 2008.

In the last three months average wages were 0.7% higher than a year ago but prices have gone up 2.7%, meaning another 2% cut in real terms. And that's before the energy price hikes!

In the public sector, absolute pay fell by 0.5% in the last quarter. Over a million people now work more than one job to try to get by.

So if you are part of the 'squeezed majority', come to Socialism 2013. George Osborne won't be there but 1,000 others will.

Join us in discussing why capitalism doesn't work, how to fight the cuts, and more besides.

Above all, hear our alternative to Osborne's Plan A, which is Plan S for socialism!


Socialism 2013

Fight against cuts, crisis and capitalism!

A weekend of discussion & debate hosted by the Socialist Party - London 2-3 November

go to socialism2013.org

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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In The Socialist 23 October 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

It's a robbery not a 'recovery'

Build a no-cuts political alternative

Hypocritical Hunt blames families for care scandal

Government policies - 'deeply divisive'

Big business lines its pockets from nuclear power

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

Energy for the millions ...not the millionaires


International socialist news and analysis

France: Deep malaise marks 'la rentrée'

Tunisia: Left-wing rapper, Klay BBJ, acquitted on appeal


Socialist Party workplace news

Overwhelming support for teachers' strike in the south and north

Postal workers go into battle

Grangemouth: a fight we can't afford to lose

PCS strike in DWP and DEFRA Shared Services

Probation officers vote for strike action

What role can trade unions play in fighting welfare attacks?

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Campaign victory for rebel councillors as local pool to be re-opened

We need action against zero-hour contracts

TUSC candidates stand up against austerity

200 say 'Tequila's got to go!'

Swansea socialists oppose National Front

Turn anger into action: join the socialists


 

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