Cuts. Object! And they may not happen. There’s been little consultation. This is ideological: a method of browbeating us into submission to protect the rich. Osborne is hoping that the public sector cut “squeeze” will save £80bn. But the political reality, is that nothing like those savings are achievable. If they get away with it a million people will be added to the dole.
Thee Faction believe If you assembled 50 retired permanent secretaries in a room and asked them, they would admit that only 50% of the cuts are likely to be achieved. Thee Faction are not fond of conspiracy theories, but it’s a business trick used in any form of negotiation to aim high and compromise on what you wanted in the first place.
It’s a lie that the interest is going to “foreigners”. It’s a lie that business leaders will ‘move abroad’ if they are taxed too hard – we cannot control the economies of other countries. It’s a lie that we need to make these cuts (we have no connections to the SWP, but they’ve produced an excellent poster explaining why: here).
THIS IS HOW IT WILL AFFECT YOU
If you’re a public sector worker you’ll see fundamental reform. Wherever you work, however, if you were in any way looking forward to retirement, you’re in for a nasty surprise.
All women will end up retiring later than they expected to, as will any men under the age of 56, as the retirement age will increase to 66 by 2020. If you’re still in your thirties or younger you can expect the goalposts to be moved several more times before you stand the slightest chance of retiring, and can safely assume that you’ll never actually be old enough to retire. Make your own pension plans.
The scale of job cuts is overwhelming, with almost half a million public sector jobs to go in the next four years. Add to that the predictions of the knock-on effects on private sector jobs, and up to a million people could be put out of work. This could be you. Put some money away and be prepared for the worst.
If you receive any benefits at all, including child benefit, there’s a good chance that your entitlement will be changing, or at the very least that you won’t be getting any kind of increases in the next few years. Talk to the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, who will talk you through all the changes.
The loss of bus subsidies and the raising of the limits on how much can be charged on regulated fares, on trains or tubes – you could be in for a nasty shock. A 45 minute bike ride may suddenly not seem quite such a laughable notion.
The Tories historically hate the BBC. The freeze in the licence fee and the edict that the corporation will now pay for the World Service (with the government reserving the rights to decide on bureaux) proves they see it as a way of balancing their own books, as a state broadcaster with little independence and want to see it struggle in a world of market forces. In real terms this is a 16% cut in the BBC’s budget. Murdoch must be creaming himself.
The Royal Bank of Scotland, bailed out by £45 billion of our money and 84% owned by the government, paid £1.3 billion in bonuses earlier this year to 17,000 market traders. Can we also remind you that Vodaphone owe HMRC £6bn. We did not cause this crisis. The banking industry should be fully nationalised under democratic workers’ control and planned to serve ordinary people’s needs. Compensation should be paid only on the basis of proven need.
Action on Saturday
In France seventeen million people have taken to the streets over the last month. In Greece there have been six general strikes. Here in Britain the cuts are among the most severe in Europe. The TUC is planning a day of action planned for next March. Meanwhile this Saturday ..
- TLondon: the RMT and FBU in London are currently at the front of fighting vicious cuts. The RMT has already had one successful day of strike action against massive job cuts which will compromise safety on the Tube. The Fire Bridae Union (FBU) is balloting for strike action against the threat to sack the entire workforce. Assemble outside the RMT head office, 39 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD at 11am.
- Edinburgh: Assemble East Market Street, Edinburgh, 11am for rally at Ross Bandstand at 12.30pm.
- Birmingham: protest at 12.30pm, Victoria Square
- Bristol: demonstration and rally, Castle Park, Broadmead, assemble 11.00am for march through Bristol city centre.
- Cambridge: assemble 12 noon at Parkside Fire Station, rally at 1.30pm at Cambridge Guildhall
- Cardiff: march against cuts, assemble Cardiff City Hall, 12 noon. Other action is planned in Wales.
- Leeds: assemble Victoria Gardens (outside the art gallery), Headrow, Leeds, noon Lincoln: assemble Castle Square, march to rally in the Cornhill, noon
- Manchester: protest outside the BBC from noon
- Norwich: protest against austerity, meet Hay Hill 12.30pm
- Plymouth: petitioning and campaigning with charities, campaign groups and trade unions. Meet at the Sundial in the city centre from 12 noon
- Portsmouth: demonstration, 11.30am Guildhall Square
- Sheffield city centre, meet outside the Town Hall, 12.30pm.
- York march and rally in the city centre, assemble 1pm in Parliament Street
Remember and repeat
The Con-Libs are:
- slashing third of council spending by 2015. That means a third of council jobs to go, a third of crucial council services axed.
- the increase in the state pension age will be rushed forward four years to 2018 for men and 2020 for women.
- they want £1.8 billion savings a year from public sector pensions. That will mean an average increase in contributions of £450 extra per year, on top of a pay freeze of up to three years. That means a big pay cut for millions
- social housing projects is being slashed by 60 percent. New council tenants will be forced to pay “market rents” and will not have secure tenancies on their home. The average rent for a three-bedroom social home is £85 a week-that could triple to £250 a week. Housing benefit won’t go up to cover it. Any single person under 35 will be forced to share accommodation or lose benefits.
- £7 billion a year will be taken from the poorest people in society. Disability benefits are under attack. The time you can claim sick pay will be halved. Tax Credits will be slashed. There will be a 10 percent cut in money that families rely on to help with childcare costs.
- the government claims it is protecting the NHS but in reality it is cutting health spending by over £20 billion; 0.1% rise year-on-year is a CUT.
- a 60 percent cut in capital spending in education. Up to 40,000 school teachers’ jobs in England will go.
- Osborne has abolished the Education Maintenance Allowance for 16-19 year-olds. As well as pricing working class students out of education with enormous fees, the Tories have cut the universities’ budget by 40 percent.
The banks who took £1.4 trillion pounds will be left with almost all their loot and there’s endless cash for the war in Afghanistan.
As usual The Tories will shift wealth from the poor to the rich. THAT’S WHY THEY GOT INVOLVED IN POLITICS IN THE FIRST PLACE.