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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 October 2011

Wales Assembly budget: Labour piles on the misery

Edmund Schluessel

The Welsh Labour-led government's 2012-2013 draft budget, published on 4 October is the second one in a row to cut Welsh public services. It proposes 12.2% cuts to education, 3% cuts to the NHS and an average of 6% cuts to environment, housing and fire services.

An 8.2% cut to higher education support calls into question how long the Welsh government intend to keep their promise of lower tuition fees in Wales.

Funding for workers' literacy and numeracy programmes has been halved, as has money for the poor to access post-16 education. Anticipating this slashing of support for education, Youth Fight for Education, involving students from half of Wales' universities, have organised a demonstration and an All-Wales Student Assembly against education cuts on 21-22 October. Activists from Wales will be leaving from the Assembly to join the new Jarrow March for the week of 24 October and will be supporting the rally welcoming the march in London on 5 November.

A 5% real-terms cut to local government will give councils across Wales an excuse to sack thousands more workers. While some trade union branches are already taking steps toward industrial action against the cuts, public sector unions Unison and GMB can no longer make apologies for a Welsh government that takes its members' money and yet acts completely against those members' interests.

In the whole budget there is only one winner: big business which will receive 10 million in handouts through "enterprise zones", 4 million for incinerators and an additional 1.7 million through "encouraging innovation".

The government will claim, as Thatcher did 25 years ago, that "there is no alternative" to the cuts. The Socialist Party has always put forward an alternative, based on struggle, tested and proven in Liverpool council in the 1980s: defy Cameron and Clegg, set a budget based on need and hand the bill to Westminster.

If Labour in the Assembly put half the effort into such a fighting programme as they do into making excuses for implementing cuts, Wales would have all the money it needed to create jobs and build a sustainable, productive economy. They, alone and in partnership with Plaid Cymru, have failed to do so. Welsh Labour have written the budget of the Welsh government; but only a new, mass workers' party can write a Welsh budget that represents the interests of the working class of Wales.

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In The Socialist 12 October 2011:


Socialist Party youth and students

Interview with a Jarrow marcher

Marching in the footsteps of history

Low pay, no way!

Protest, demonstrate, occupy


International socialist news and analysis

US: Occupy Wall Street - Demanding jobs not cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

Strike on 30 November - no secret talks

'We have not gone away' say Southampton council workers

Construction electricians

60 printers sacked as bosses make a million

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party news and analysis

Sovereign debt crisis, recession... No way out under capitalism

Cameron's big 'them and us' society

Fox takes cronyism to new level

Wales Assembly budget: Labour piles on the misery

Kinnock's bigotry

Con-Dems' policies increase poverty

Fast news


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

NHS protesters occupy Westminster Bridge

Health campaigners take Ascot by storm

Coventry by-election helps build socialist alternative to cuts

London elections - more support for TU/anti-cuts stand


Socialist Party fundraising

Socialism 2011 finance appeal


Socialist history

Battle of Cable Street 1936 - When workers stopped the fascists


The Socialist - readers' comments

Portrait of a pension pilferer


 

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