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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 December 2014

Osborne's savage cuts...

No return to the 1930s

Stop the cuts!

Stop the cuts!   (Click to enlarge)

Steve Score

The Tories plan to send us back to the 1930s. The Office for Budget Responsibility said public spending levels will be thrown back 80 years if Osborne's Autumn Statement plans are implemented. Politicians say we must all take cuts in our living standards and downgrade what we expect from public services.

But austerity doesn't stretch to everyone. The House of Lords rejected a plan to save money by merging catering services with the Commons. Why? Because they "feared the quality of champagne would not be as good"! The House of Lords spends 1.3 million a year on catering. In four years it bought 17,000 bottles of champagne costing 265,770.

So when you can't pay your bills because your real income has been cut year after year, or if Christmas makes your debts unmanageable, comfort yourself by knowing that the Lords will still have good champers to drink at your expense.

Last year the wealth of Britain's richest thousand people rose 68 billion. That's more than the amount the Tories plan to cut from public spending. 'Austerity' is a class war, pursued for the super-rich by their paid servants - the main political parties.

The chancellor's autumn statement cut tax on the oil companies' profits, costing us 470 million over the next parliament. Is it coincidence that the oil industry has given the Tories 2.5 million in donations since 2010?

Despite its protestations, Labour would make the same cuts, but slightly slower. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said: "There will be cuts under Labour. I do not just want the current budget back into balance, I want it back into surplus... as soon as possible in the next parliament."

In recent years we have seen a massive squeeze on working class people's living standards. Benefits, wages, job security and guaranteed hours of work, as well as the NHS and other public services have been hammered.

But this is nothing compared with what is to come. 1930s levels of services would take us back to the days before the NHS, before the welfare state. We are now in the fight of our lives to defend these gains.

We can't wait until the general election to start that fight. The union leaders should immediately meet to organise action - starting with a mass demonstration as soon as possible in the New Year to defend the NHS, the welfare state and all our public services. Plans for a one day general strike should be drawn up to show whatever government comes to power in May that we will not tolerate this devastation.

But we also need a mass political party of our own, one that will fight for the alternative to austerity. This is why we support the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition standing in next year's elections to show that a socialist alternative is possible.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 10 December 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Osborne's savage cuts: No return to the 1930s!

Reject the lie that is austerity

Europe: a new wave of workers' struggle has begun

Save our NHS

Tenants can resist Scrooge landlords

Climate change: Sacrificing the future

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Uprising against police violence in the US

Socialist Party workplace news

London bus drivers: Same job - we want the same pay!

1,000 firefighters march to defend Ricky Matthews

Students join Lambeth walkout

Sharpak Yate packaging strike

Rail franchise jobs: TUPE or not TUPE?

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

We have a world to win!

Socialist Students: fight for free education

Election appeal: finding cash to fight the cuts

Campaign news in brief

Socialist Party comments and reviews

The 1914 Christmas truce

Mockingjay: Part One

Broadband giants' expensive battle

Quiz 2014


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Related links:


triangleLiverpool Unite branch supports 'no cuts' budget strategy

triangleNottingham City Council: Major battles against cuts ahead

triangleUnions must resist return to austerity

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triangleSwansea Socialist Party: The TUSC anti-austerity challenge in the Welsh parliament

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triangleWales TUSC plans to mount an electoral challenge


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