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29 November 2017

Historic fall in living standards

Make the Tories history

Nick Auvache, North London Socialist Party

What a shocker! "Families are now projected to be in the early stages of the longest period of continuous falls in disposable incomes in over 60 years - longer even than that following the financial crisis."

That was how the Resolution Foundation think-tank greeted Chancellor Philip Hammond's recent budget.

While some Tory MPs may have hailed it as a success, for most of us it was another disaster. It will deepen the economic misery that working class people face.

But it appears that not all families in Britain are alike. The think-tank's report added that the poorest third of households could lose 715 a year if the Tories last till 2022. Meanwhile the richest third would gain 185.

This is further proof that we can't wait for a general election. We need this government of spivs out now!

Further revelations paint the picture of a land mired in poverty with little prospect of things improving - underlining the need for socialist change.

The average set aside for savings has slumped to just 1.7% of disposable income - for those who can even afford to save. The average over the last 50 years was closer to 10%! Borrowing is up, as is inflation.

In short - we are being paid less, so we can't save. And to twist the knife, prices are rising.

This is the brutal reality of life under this broken capitalist system. But it also presents an opportunity for the trade unions to mount a national campaign to say enough is enough.

The government is on the ropes, as u-turn after u-turn showed in the run-up to the budget. Mass demonstrations and coordinated strikes could push them out the ring.

Hammond attempted to fend off criticism with a more relaxed approach to borrowing. But this is a drop in the ocean compared with what would be necessary to restore living standards to pre-crisis levels.

Meanwhile, working class people are already forced to borrow just to make ends meet. For us there is no relaxed approach. The only things that would help us relax would be wages rising, living costs falling, an end to the cuts - and the Tories out of office.

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