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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 October 2015

Hands off tax credits

Fight for decent jobs and welfare

Come to Socialism2015 - www.socialism2015.net

A weekend of discussion and debate - 7&8 November, central London

Becci Heagney

David Cameron announced at the Tory Party conference his "all-out war on poverty". It's clear that what he meant was an "all-out war on the poor".

After promising not to cut Child Benefit, the Tories are slashing tax credits including Child Tax Credit. Already one in four working people earn less than the living wage, cutting in-work benefits will mean that 3.3 million families will lose 1,300 a year on average.

These are not just statistics, they are real people just trying to get by. The Tories got a taste of this when Michelle Dorrell made her emotional attack on Amber Rudd MP over tax credits during Question Time. Millions of people will be feeling the same way. In fact, 70% of the tax credits cuts will fall on mothers in work. So much for standing up for "hard-working families".

The Tory Party's hypocrisy knows no bounds. A report by 'Bright Blue' - a conservative think tank - argues that child benefit should be cut if parents don't send their children to pre-school from the age of two or three.

Families

It recommends Sure Start centres. Since the Con-Dem government cut funding to the service, over 200 around the country have closed or are threatened with closure. Liverpool City Council are closing 23 out of 26 centres, Newcastle City Council are attempting to close every single one.

Not for decades has there been such an attack by the rich on the poor - it is no exaggeration to describe this as the Tories' warfare on welfare. 90 people a month died after being declared 'fit-for-work' between 2011 and 2014. We need to fight back.

We demand an end to and reversal of all benefit cuts. We support a cap on rents, not benefits, with a mass council house-building programme. We need a 10 an hour minimum wage with guaranteed hours.

Socialism 2015 will be tackling these issues and more. The cut to tax credits has been described as Cameron's "Poll Tax moment". Mass non-payment of the hated tax, led by Militant (forerunner of the Socialist Party), brought down Thatcher - we need a similar movement to bring down Cameron.

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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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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In The Socialist 21 October 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Strike to save the NHS

Hands off tax credits

1% owns more than half the world's wealth

Damning report on NHS staffing levels delayed by Tories

Labour MP refuses to back strike

Them & Us

What we saw


Socialist Party features

Corbyn campaign: Opportunity for raising socialist ideas

How can workers resist capitalist cuts and closures?


International socialist news and analysis

World economy: 'biggest danger to capitalism is capitalism'

Germany: refugee crisis and the fight against the racist right

International news in brief


Workplace news and analysis

For a fighting, socialist Unison general secretary, back Roger Bannister

Hull's Labour council in aggressive bid to remove all union convenors

Welsh Government should think outside 'the Box'

Determined mood at Napo conference

Sports Direct action over sacking

Rally opposes the Tory trade union bill

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Organising to defend Corbyn's anti-cuts mandate

Help fund the fight for socialism

Huge support for the Wales March for Homes


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Former war hero fighting for the future: a pensioner speaks out

'Britain First' - tiny and violent


 

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Related links:

Tax credits:

triangleEnd Tory cold cruelty: life under austerity in Merthyr

triangleFight expansion of disastrous 'Universal Credit' welfare system

triangleScrap the Tory 'rape clause' and all benefit attacks

triangleFight Tories' callous cuts pushing 200,000 more kids into poverty

triangle30% of people on inadequate incomes in UK

Tax:

triangleTerry Fields MP, Prisoner DV 3695 - The jailing of 'poll tax' rebel and Militant

triangleBirmingham Clean Air Zone a tax on the poor

triangleG7 tax deal won't challenge corporate power

triangleReaders' opinion

Tories:

triangleNationality and borders bill

triangleTories and Labour fail on child poverty

trianglePublic sector pay - Prepare for action!

Council:

triangleBarnsley 'Big Green Space' protest

triangleEast London resident fighting eviction again

Welfare:

trianglePoverty increasing. Welfare state in crisis. Do we need a new Beveridge Report?

Poverty:

triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party

Jobs:

triangleTory government nationalises Sheffield steel plant

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