Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/759/16432

From The Socialist newspaper, 3 April 2013

Them & Us

Black April

The front page headline of the Guardian called 1 April "The day that Britain changed". A number of the Tories' hated flagship policies are now in force, or due to be implemented later this month.
We get more cuts to jobs, services and benefits, while the rich get tax breaks and are handed privatised services to make a profit from. The 'them and us' system has never been so clear.

Council tax benefit

Council tax benefit, run by central government, has been replaced with council tax support, run by local authorities... with a 10% cut.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation says that 150,000 households will be 300 a year worse off. The cut will hit the worst off, basically meaning a huge council tax increase for the poorest - 300,000 benefit claimants could fall into poverty as a result.

58 local authorities are maintaining current levels of support - but many of these are financing this through cuts elsewhere.

Councillors should refuse to implement this cut or any others and spearhead a mass campaign to demand more funding from central government - just like socialist-led Liverpool City Council did successfully in the 1980s.

50p tax rate

While we get hit with the bedroom tax and cuts to council tax benefits, the rich are having cuts too... to how much tax they have to pay.

The rate of tax for top earners will be reduced from 50p to 45p in every pound earned. Chancellor George Osborne can't quite make up his mind - it's either because nobody pays the tax anyway (because he won't make them) or because it will encourage investment in job creation (it won't).

The super-rich should pay high taxes and the extra revenue used to invest in jobs and services in the public sector.

NHS

Primary Care trusts are being disbanded and replaced with Clinical Commissioning Groups (GP consortia) which will now be responsible for 60 billion of the NHS budget.

They will commission local services from 'any willing provider' - including voluntary and private bodies.

Government privatisers claim this will make sure the best service is provided. They said the same about trains and utilities.

They claim GPs will be at the heart of the system and this will benefit the patients they know so well.

But only a few will actually be involved and the system will be dominated by corporate giants who will drive down services in order to offer lower prices and win the contracts.

We need action from NHS trade unions, backed up by community campaigns, to defend a nationalised, free, publicly run healthcare system.

Cap on benefit increases

Increases in benefits, previously linked to inflation, will now be capped at 1%. With inflation running at nearly 3%, this is a cut to income for the poorest.

While the pay of chief executives continues to rise and more and more banks reveal shocking lists of those paid over 1 million, the low-paid and unemployed will struggle more and more to afford basic necessities.

Benefit cap

From 15 April the benefits that a household receives will be capped at 26,000. It is estimated that cuts to benefits will push 200,000 more children into poverty.

People shouldn't complain so much though, minister for work and pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, assures us that we're mistaken and actually the cuts are perfectly fair.

In fact, he could live on 53 a week himself. Hundreds of thousands rushed to sign an online petition asking him to give it a go.

We need benefits that are enough to live on - why should those out of work or super-low-paid because of this government's policies have to live in poverty? And the best way to reduce the benefit bill is not to cap benefits but to cap rents and raise the minimum wage.

Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance will be replaced by Personal Independence Payments (PIPs), including a cut of more than 2 billion a year.

PIPs are assessed face-to-face by hated contractor Atos. They examine people's ability to do day-to-day tasks, without taking note of conditions which vary at different times.

By 2015/16 500,000 people will lose PIPs. The new criteria also mean only people unable to walk more than 20 metres unaided will be eligible for financial help towards mobility.

Paralympic gold medalist swimmer Tara Flood said: "The PIP process is fundamentally flawed. I can't imagine anyone delivering it in a way that isn't de-humanising.

The impact will be so shocking. Twenty per cent of disabled people who receive this support are going to lose it... I'm terrified."

Legal aid

Thousands have lost their entitlement to legal aid as maximum household income to be eligible has been reduced to 32,000.

Anyone earning over 14,000 will be subject to a means test. The cut will particularly affect access to family law, immigration and employment cases.

Granny tax

The government is at pains to stress that it's looking after the elderly - pensioners are protected from the council tax benefit cuts, for example.

But nobody is spared from the Con-Dems' axe. Changes in the way tax-free allowances are calculated will leave 3.6 million people 68 a year worse off and 360,000 who turn 65 this year 268 worse off.

High rents

Of course, everyone is suffering from limited financial support from the state. The wife of the new governor of the Bank of England, is finding her 5,000 a week housing allowance very difficult to work with - she complained that rents are just too high to be able to find anything for that amount.

This is while a cap on housing benefit is being introduced that amounts to one tenth of that and will see 56,000 families each lose 4,836 a year.

Solving the housing crisis requires an immediate cap on rents and investment in a huge programme of council house building.

The future

'Black April' introduced some devastating cuts. But, if the Con-Dems get their way, this will be just the start.

After last month's budget, the Treasury wrote to all government departments to tell them to prepare for up to 10% more cuts which may be announced in the June spending review.

We've also had predictions that economic recovery will take many years. The Bank of England has even told major UK banks to raise 25 billion if they want to guard against likely losses.

The majority in Britain and around the world can't put up with 'many years' more. We have to fight back now to stop all cuts, bring down the government and build a socialist alternative to austerity.

We have to fight back now to stop all cuts, bring down the government and build a socialist alternative to austerity

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 3 April 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

April 2013: TORY CUTS BLITZ

PCS: Striking against Con-Dem attacks

Call for national strike narrowly defeated at NUT conference

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Cyprus: Working people must not pay for crisis of euro and capitalism


Socialist Party feature

Abolition of Agricultural Wages Board will result in increased rural poverty


Socialist Party workplace news

Defend Crown post offices

Teaching Assistants strike for agreed pay level

Workplace News in brief


Fighting the Bedroom Tax

Over 5,000 march in Glasgow against the Bedroom Tax

Anti-cuts Warrington councillor supports Bedroom Tax protest

Opposing the Bedroom Tax in Leeds

Fight to scrap the bedroom tax is underway in Swansea


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Sussex University: occupation over but campaign continues

Lakanal fire: Action needed to prevent a repeat tragedy

Workfare and the Labour Party: 'A less than stellar party'

TUSC Mary4Mayor campaign launched in Doncaster

Sick Of Your Boss: young people in work - your stories

Interview: Wirral Youth Theatre cuts

"Is green growth possible?" debated

Don't miss May Day greetings deadline!

First quarter fighting fund target smashed


 

Home   |   The Socialist 3 April 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Tax:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleTrump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

triangleThem & us

triangleTrump's tax attacks

trianglePFI privateers dodge tax

NHS:

triangleSouth London health bosses' cover-up

triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangleSave our NHS

triangleTyneside walk-in closures postponed after rally

Rents:

triangleTwo in five 'right to buy' homes now for let

triangleTory housing policy: build zilch, hike prices

trianglePosh estate agent's housing crisis solution: make your own sandwiches

Council tax:

triangleBristol's Labour mayor calls anti-austerity march - now stop making cuts!

trianglePlans to bring A-levels back to Knowsley abandoned

Council:

triangleStop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

Cuts:

triangleBradford campaign to save children's services launched

Government:

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

Benefits:

triangleWaltham Forest Universal Credit protest

Poverty:

triangleThem & Us

Housing:

triangleSix months on - still no justice for Grenfell

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

13/12/17

Labour

Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

13/12/17

Brexit

Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

13/12/17

Housing

Two in five 'right to buy' homes now for let

13/12/17

NHS

Save our NHS

13/12/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

13/12/17

Fees

Uni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

13/12/17

Retail

Retail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

8/12/17

Government

Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

6/12/17

Labour

Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

6/12/17

NHS

Branson sues NHS: kick out the profiteers

6/12/17

Immigration

Royal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system

6/12/17

Banks

RBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks

6/12/17

Homelessness

Rough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

6/12/17

Poverty

End Tory war on poor

6/12/17

Rail

Nationalise rail now

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2