Fighting cuts in Southampton, photo Nick Chaffey (uploaded 26/01/2022)
Fighting cuts in Southampton, photo Nick Chaffey (uploaded 26/01/2022)

Tories out

Make the super-rich pay

Scott Hunter, Swindon Socialist Party

The appalling state of our public services is compounding the misery of the cost-of-living crisis.

 NHS dentists are rarer than gold, you’ll be lucky to get a phone consultation with anyone at your local GP surgery, and the NHS waiting list for routine hospital treatment is huge.

Public services have been cut to the bone over 16 years of austerity. Now working-class people increasingly face the choice of spending money they don’t have to go private or, more likely, simply going without vital services.

It’s not just the NHS. One in five local authorities have warned that they expect to issue Section 114 notices in the next five years – declaring themselves effectively ‘bankrupt’. Westminster has already told councils like Birmingham and Nottingham to ‘sell the family silver’ to pay for budget deficits – those same deficits that are the result of cuts from Tory government!

Austerity hasn’t just made our lives worse; it’s ended the lives of many. There were 334,327 excess deaths in Britain linked to austerity between 2012-19, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health estimates. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands more who died during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A further £19 billion of cuts has been laid out for after the next election by the Tories. Just as well they are on their way out. Except Labour’s Keir Starmer has said he’s committed to following Tory spending plans!

Labour councillors in their thousands up and down the country continue to vote through Tory cuts at council level rather than fighting to defend their communities.

We can’t afford to hope against hope that Starmer will give our services the funding they desperately need now.

Over the last two years, hundreds of thousands of workers across Britain have bravely gone on strike to fight for pay rises and better working conditions. Now, workers need MPs and councillors worthy of that struggle; workers’ representatives who will live on a workers’ wage and take the battle into Westminster and the council chambers.

The Socialist Party stands in elections as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), which is pulling together anti-war, trade unionist, student, and socialist candidates, for the general and local government elections.

Don’t wait, join us to fight for socialist change.