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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) (Click to enlarge)
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."
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
The Socialist 25 November 2015 |
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