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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 October 2021

What we think

People's Budgets - a socialist answer to cruel cuts

Photo: Rajavan

Photo: Rajavan   (Click to enlarge)

There's no denying the facts. Thanks to austerity, more people are being forced onto the streets, more people are dying - and younger - and more are in line to lose their job.

50,000 extra have died due to the effects of Tory austerity over the last eleven years. Spiralling youth homelessness has risen by over 40% in the last five years affecting over 120,000 young people, not to mention sofa surfing and insecure housing.

It is a brutal reminder of the utter failure of capitalism that, when it comes to some of the very basics, little has fundamentally improved for the working class. In 1845, Friedrich Engels commented on the plight of the homeless: "In London 50,000 human beings get up every morning, not knowing where they will lay their heads at night". In Britain, since 2010 the rough sleeping figure has increased by 52% and figures from 2019 found over 280,000 people in England alone are homeless.

And more suffering is yet to come as the ending of furlough threatens the jobs of over one million, and the scrapping of the 20 Universal Credit uplift pushes more than 100,000 households to potential eviction.

The Tories have ever more blood on their hands and are planning 2 billion more austerity cuts in the autumn budget.

But Starmer's New Labour, and the other establishment parties, do not oppose austerity. Under Jeremy Corbyn's tenure, his anti-austerity programme received huge support. Even in the Corbyn era however, Labour councils - a bastion of the right - continued to implement brutal cuts.

Now, the pro-capitalist wing of the Labour Party is back in the driving seat. Rachel Reeves, now shadow chancellor, once pledged Labour would be tougher on benefit claimants than the Tories. While Starmer has opposed the 20 cut to Universal Credit, he is not fighting for living benefits and has refused to back the trade union campaign for a 15-an-hour minimum wage.

The multiple U-turns made by Boris Johnson and his chancellor during the pandemic, spending billions when public pressure was on them, show that with a fight the Tories could be made to pay up and the working class could win victories. But we still need more.

The working class and the poorest in society are in dire need of their own party, a fighting voice to struggle for enough homes and properly paid jobs for everyone, a fully funded non-privatised NHS and social care, public services based on need not profit, and much more!

The Socialist Party participates in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in order to provide a banner for workers to contest elections. In the coming weeks, TUSC is initiating local People's Budget conferences and campaigns across the UK. We want to bring together all those who want to lay the foundations of a struggle to fight for what is desperately needed in cities, towns and communities across the country. From housing, services, countering climate change - to youth services, education, jobs and more.

Such a campaign can help lay the basis for the biggest possible anti-austerity TUSC challenge in the May 2022 local elections of trade unionists, socialists, community and anti-austerity campaigners, and any others who wish to stand with and alongside TUSC. Fighting not only against further cuts, privatisation and closures, but for councillors and councils who will fight for the houses, jobs and services urgently needed as part of a wider struggle for socialist change across society.

In the linked articles below, Socialist Party members talk about their People's Budget campaigns, fighting the cuts locally and the Socialist Party's anti-austerity election stand.

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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 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.
  • 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.
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In The Socialist 20 October 2021:


News

Fight for a socialist recovery

Tories to blame for GP crisis

Container delay carnage makes the case for socialist planning

Socialist nationalisation not bailouts for the bosses


Workplace news

Unite union policy conference

University workers ballot for strike action

Unite and fight for 30,000 permanent DWP jobs

Gwent valleys Stagecoach bus drivers strike for fair pay

Reinstate Gary Evans! Llanelli postal workers strike

Napo AGM 2021: Union placed on war footing

Scunthorpe scaffs strike for pay


People's budgets

People's Budgets - a socialist answer to cruel cuts

Brighton bin workers' victory in sight

Fight to defend homelessness services

Ealing People's Budget - cuts can be resisted

Northampton People's Budget - cuts and privatisation is a failed strategy

Fighting the cuts at the ballot box in Liverpool


Fall of apartheid

The fall of Apartheid in South Africa


Climate change

COP26: Trade unions must fight for a socialist transition to renewables

Save the planet from capitalist climate catastrophe


International

Austria: Chancellor Kurz resigns amid allegations of corruption


Obituary

Obituary - Tony Davison: "I work for Militant, but Laing's pay my wages"


Campaigns

"Are you the socialist cabby?"

Housing crisis: Tories and Labour are not on our side

Liverpool arms fair: Hundreds of protesters defy police 'dispersal zone'

Hackney children's centres - more education cuts are devastating

Biggest protest yet to save Stratford Circus

Doncaster: Vigil condemns violence against women


Readers' opinion

I'm unemployed: For me vacancy crisis is a lie

TV review: Squid Game


 

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Related links:

Austerity:

triangleSouthampton People's budget Building an alternative to Tory and Labour austerity

triangleThe fight for Hackney's children's centres continues

triangleFight for a socialist recovery

triangle"Are you the socialist cabby?"

trianglePreparing for no-cuts People's Budgets

Socialist:

triangleWhat did you think of Socialism 2021?

triangleSelling the Socialist

triangleObituary: Ted Austin (1940-2021) - working-class socialist stalwart

triangleNorthampton: Phoney consultation to mask cuts

Cuts:

triangleSlough: Adult service cuts will leave vulnerable homeless

triangleWest Sussex: Payouts for council bosses, cuts for us

triangleVictory! Hackney children's centres saved

TUSC:

triangleSouthampton West Socialist Party: Feedback from the TUSC conference

triangleAn appeal to trade union members to stand as anti-cuts candidates

Anti-austerity:

triangleEaling People's Budget - cuts can be resisted

Budget:

triangleBirmingham People's Budget

Elections:

trianglePortugal's government falls: Left must adopt a new course

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MPs

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triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


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