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Rage against austerity

Vote Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Councillor Dave Nellist, Coventry Socialist Party
Rage against austerity, photo  Socialist Party

Rage against austerity, photo Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Not content with attacking ordinary families from the cradle to the grave – from closing Sure Start centres to making us work longer for lower pensions – Britain’s super-rich bosses are now after our bank holidays!

In a new report the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) bemoaned the cost to UK businesses of us spending a few hours with our families.

The real agenda is glimpsed when the CEBR writes that “the average Korean works nearly four months a year more than a British worker” (2,191 hours compared with 1,647).

The CEBR sees the issue in terms of lost output and profit. They say cancelling the UK’s public holidays could increase GDP by 1.3%, or about £19 billion.

But the biggest companies in the UK have over £750 billion of cash reserves that they refuse to invest because they can’t guarantee to sell all they make, and therefore realise a profit.

The logic of the bosses’ crazy market system leads them to drive down the wages and consumption of working class families, so their ‘costs’ are lower, even if that increases the inability of working people to buy back the very goods they’ve created.

A socialist alternative would argue for more holidays, not less. The real level of unemployment in the UK, if you include all those excluded by caring responsibilities or disability, plus those employed part-time because of the lack of full-time jobs, is actually just under seven million.

A socialist economy would share out the work that needs doing, giving everyone the chance to contribute.

Instead of cutting back on our eight annual public holidays, a socialist alternative would involve a shorter working week, a shorter working year, and a shorter working lifetime through earlier retirement.

Funny how we never hear the argument for less public holidays when there’s a Royal Wedding or Diamond Jubilee…

Dave is standing for re-election in St Michael’s ward, Coventry, as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition stand against cuts. To help with the campaign or join the mass canvass on Sunday 15 April, call Lenny on 075 304 294 41.
www.tusc.org.uk for more on TUSC