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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 June 2010

IDS's 'anti-poverty drive' attacks the poorest!

THE NEW government work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, plans the biggest attack on the rights of the most vulnerable people in society in a generation. His plans are presented as an attempt "to improve the quality of life for the worst off in society" but resemble more the 1834 poor law when paupers were forced into the gruelling regime of the workhouse!

Paul Callanan

While this former Tory leader pointed out that many on the dole receive more in benefits than they would earn from a low paid job, his plans will actually attack the claimants rather than his big business mates who are looking for cheap labour.

Labour's previous cheap labour job creation schemes - 'future jobs scheme' and 'flexible new deal' - will be scrapped in favour of a 'community task force' in which unemployed people will be forced to work for voluntary organisations for their dole money. The scheme is likely to be used to drive down the wages, terms and conditions of people who are presently employed.

Many workers fear that the government will try to use claimants as a scab labour force to do the jobs of workers in the course of expected trade union battles over public sector cuts.

The disabled and ill are also in for huge assaults on their living standards under the new plans. People in need of incapacity allowance already find it difficult to claim any benefits under the present strict Work Capability Assessment. Now, all existing receivers of the incapacity allowance will be forced to endure this draconian assessment.

IDS says his only goal is to tackle poverty and help the worst off in society. But rather than eliminating poverty these measures will allow the government to massage the statistics. The choice facing people on benefits will now be poverty on the dole or poverty at work.

To fight these attacks we need to build a mass movement of trade unionists, the unemployed and community campaigners. We need to put forward a clear socialist alternative to the diet of cuts proposed by the politicians and their big business pay masters.

Lobby Iain Duncan Smith's surgery, Friday 18 June. Meet at Chingford Station, 3pm.

Call Suzanne on 07716 610893

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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 16 June 2010:

Millionaire ministers savage public services

'Bloodbath budget' day protests and meetings


Education

Comprehensive education under attack

Opposing 'Dickensian' academy schools in Waltham Forest


National Shop Stewards Network

Come to the NSSN conference

Unison local government conference: Delegates face huge struggles

Northern Rock throws workers on the dole

Wales Unison: Socialist Party member elected

NHS Scotland - ConDemned to terminal decay

Southampton library staff strike to save jobs

Save the Big House


Socialist Party editorial

Labour leadership contest dominated by right wing


Socialist Party news and analysis

TUSC plans for future elections

BP's value plunges as oil spill worsens

Willetts approves tuition fees hike

Bloody Sunday report appears 38 years late

IDS's 'anti-poverty drive' attacks the poorest!

High speed trains and high priced fares

Why we don't back the Queen's pay claim

Fast news

Diary dates


Anti-racism

Tower Hamlets: Jobs, homes and services - not the racist EDL!


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: A test bed for 'austerity' and resistance

Spain: Millions of public sector workers strike over brutal cuts

Portugal: Mobilisation against austerity reaches new level

Socialist Party Scotland launched at packed and inspiring meeting


 

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Related links:

Poverty:

triangleDoncaster: Vigil for murdered women

trianglePoverty rises again - especially for BAME workers

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triangleEnd Tory cold cruelty: life under austerity in Merthyr

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Big business:

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