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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 November 2015

Autumn statement: bonanza for the bosses, pain for the people

The cutter's axe, photo by Martin Cathrae (Creative Commons)

The cutter's axe, photo by Martin Cathrae (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Paul Callanan

As we go to press, Tory Chancellor George Osbourne is due to deliver his autumn budget statement.

The Socialist expects the usual tax cuts and freebies bonanza for big business and the rich. But for working class people, it can only be more misery.

Local councils have already had 40% of their budgets slashed since 2010. Most are preparing for an extra 30% on top of that!

The Labour leader of south London's Greenwich council, Denise Hyland, was recently confronted on the cuts. Danny Hoggan, branch secretary of general union Unite, said if more cuts go through then "in 2020 we won't be talking about saving local services - but resurrecting them."

Weaknesses

The Autumn Statement could lay bare some of the government's weaknesses.

The Tory-controlled House of Lords has already embarrassed it over tax credits. There are suggestions that Osborne will fund a transitional plan by cutting housing benefit - hurting many of the same people.

And under pressure from a potential financial collapse in the NHS, he has had to increase finding by 3.8 billion. But this will mean deeper cuts in other areas.

More worryingly for a prime minister in waiting, the chancellor's economic plans are not delivering his headline promises.

He claims to be creating a "low-tax, high-wage economy". Yet only one in 40 jobs created since the economic crisis began is full-time employed.

Osborne says we need to 'live within our means'. Yet this October was the highest for government borrowing in six years.

Public spending is actually increasing - but while services fall apart. The Treasury must borrow no more than 15 billion between now and April if it wants to meet Office for Budget Responsibility targets.

And the recovery rate is a namby-pamby 0.5% of GDP.

But austerity was never meant to fix things for us. Austerity is about cutting jobs and services so they can hand the dough back to bosses.

An organised mass movement - linking coordinated strikes with an anti-austerity political alternative - could consign the cutters to history.

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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.

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In The Socialist 25 November 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Back doctors' strikes

Stop the Tories' war on Syria

Autumn statement: bonanza for bosses, pain for us

Police finally own up to spies' relationships with target women

Transgender woman dies after spiteful courts pick men's prison

'Antibiotic apocalypse': profit system holds back research

Sun's racist lie about Muslim support for terror

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

Socialist change not climate change


International socialist news and analysis

Bombing Syria won't stop Isis

Dictatorship's methods still reign in 'democratic' Chile

Myanmar: electoral defeat for the military, renewed class struggle ahead


Workplace news and analysis

Trade Union Momentum launched to organise to defend Corbyn

Lambeth library workers' wildcat strike

"I'm voting for Roger because I believe we need change in our union"

Steelworkers demand government action to Save Our Steel

Firefighters rally to defend pay and conditions

Solidarity with sacked BT worker

Protest demands reinstatement of John Vasey

Workplace news in brief


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Tory MP made me sick with tax credit cut lies

Transgender access to healthcare is worsened by cuts


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Waltham Forest march demands homes for all

Fire cuts cost lives

Save Dorothy Lucy centre


 

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Related links:

Budget:

triangleNewham campaign set up against council cuts and tax hikes

triangleCapitalist crisis and Corona: Johnson's budget for the bosses

triangleCamarthenshire: Councillors' 'walk of shame'

triangleSwansea: Ask anyone about state of services, you will hear the real story

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triangleStrong union response needed against job cuts

triangleSafe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

triangleJohnson's plan terrifies me - readers react to lifting lockdown

triangleSafe social-distancing car-cavalcade protests

Tax:

triangle30 years since the huge anti-poll tax demo... And how mass non-payment of the tax was built

triangleLiverpool & District Socialist Party: 30 years ago - How the poll tax was defeated

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Couldn't pay, wouldn't pay, didn't pay - How we beat the Poll Tax

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triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party

Government:

triangleContract tracer speaks out: Tories' plan is outsourced chaos

Economic crisis:

triangleConfidence plummets in Tory strategy for Covid-19

Greenwich:

triangleBromley Libraries 'restructure' in middle of pandemic!

Economy:

triangleTrump, coronavirus, capitalism, and the presidential race

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