Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/181/7973
Blair's Fuel Tax Lies
TONY BLAIR says that he can't cut high fuel taxes because the pensioners will suffer and he'll have less to spend on the NHS and education. What rubbish!
Last year - and this year - his chancellor, Gordon Brown, was sitting on a fat war chest of up to £20 billion. And what did he give to the pensioners? A paltry 75p!
So, now, to parry criticism in the run up to the next election, Brown has announced a larger uprating of pensions. But even this concession will still leave many elderly living in poverty.
The Socialist Party demands a national minimum income of £280 a week including for pensioners.
Despite the recycled headlines showing huge increases, this New Labour government will increase expenditure on health and education over its lifetime less than the last Tory government did.
Gordon "prudence" Brown says he doesn't want to spend his surpluses now because he's worried about restarting an economic "boom and bust" cycle. With the wealth gap widening to a record level, millions of people have never experienced anything more than the "bust" cycle!
But Gordon needn't fret. He could simply recoup the public subsidies paid to the privatised railways by renationalising the rail network, with compensation only in cases of proven need.
He could get his hands on billions more by nationalising the giant oil companies. (BP made a cool £6 billion profit in the first nine months of this year while Shell managed to rack up £2.26 billion profit over the last three months.)
Of course this government has no intention of depriving big business of its ill gotten gains. Its agenda is written to serve the needs of finance capital. If you want fully funded public services and decent pensions, then join with the Socialist Party to rid our lives of capitalism and to fight for a democratic, socialist alternative.
In The Socialist 10 November 2000: