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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 October 2021

TORY BUDGET CON

Photo: Steve Eason/CC

Photo: Steve Eason/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Organise to fight for:

15-an-hour minimum wage

Above inflation pay rises

Fully funded public services

Steve Score, Socialist Party national committee

In his budget statement, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced an increase in the minimum wage and an end to the public sector pay freeze. Both will be wiped out by rapidly rising prices, the increase in National Insurance, and the 1,000 a year cut in Universal Credit.

Rising energy prices will mean this winter many people will once again face the stark choice between 'heating and eating'.

It's all part of Boris Johnson's so-called 'high-wage economy'. What garbage! Workers have suffered years of real cuts in living standards. In-work poverty has rocketed, as has job insecurity and casual working.

The Tories say they are ending a "one year pay pause" in the public sector, but in reality there has been a decade of real-terms pay cuts. We don't yet know what pay rises may be offered for next year; but workers will only get back any of what they lost over ten years through trade union struggle.

Even then, the Tories don't want to fund any pay increases - so, without a battle, it will mean further cuts in public services.

The hypocrisy of announcing some money for new family centres, when their cuts have previously resulted in the closure of hundreds of Sure Start centres, is breathtaking! New money has supposedly been found for the NHS and social care by raising National Insurance - hitting mainly lower paid workers. Yet it will do very little to end the massive NHS waiting lists or solve the crisis in social care.

But Keir Starmer's Labour has no answers. He retreated from the idea of a 15-an-hour minimum wage, proposing only 10. Now the Tories have already virtually matched it at 9.50!

The Socialist Party boldly fights for a 15-an-hour minimum wage with no exceptions. We believe a coordinated battle across the public sector trade unions and beyond is necessary to fight for higher pay.

We don't have a high-wage economy; we have a high-wealth economy for the super-rich minority. Britain's 171 resident billionaires increased their vast wealth last year by 22%. It went up to 600 billion between them, at a time when millions were suffering cuts to their living standards.

Energy companies and key sectors of the economy should be nationalised to control prices and be planned democratically for the benefit of the whole of society. The NHS and public services should be fully funded. We need a new mass working-class party that will fight for socialist policies.

This further pressure on public spending makes even more significant Unite the Union's decision at its recent conference to call on Labour councils now "to set legal, balanced no-cuts needs-based budgets" (see 'Public spending under further threat from Tories').

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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 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.
  • 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 27 October 2021:


Budget

TORY BUDGET CON

Public spending under further threat from Tories

Tory NHS funding won't fix staff shortage

Public sector pay thaw - union fight is on for a real rise and funding


Fighting sexual harassment

Fighting sexism and harassment, and for a safe night out


Climate change

Tory climate plans set to fail - socialist planning needed

COP26: protest for Socialist change to reverse climate chaos

Youth climate protests

News in brief


Workplace news

Unite policy conference

Gwent Stagecoach workers driving for victory on pay

Clarks shoe workers strike to give 'fire and rehire' the boot

Royal Mail workers stand against 'unachievable workloads'

GPs vote to reject government plans

Workplace news in brief


Campaigns

The fight for Hackney's children's centres continues

Southampton People's budget Building an alternative to Tory and Labour austerity

Save Southall youth centre - stop all cuts

Carlisle says make the richest pay, not the poorest!


International

Military coup in Sudan - Defiant masses take to the streets


Readers' opinion

TV review Maid

TV review The Riots 2011: One Week in August


 

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Related links:

Budget:

triangleBirmingham People's Budget

triangleLeeds TUSC: A 'People's Budget' is needed for Leeds

triangleFight for a real wage rise for all

triangleHackney children's centres: Campaigners see through council deception

trianglePublic spending under further threat from Tories

Tory:

triangleTory sleaze scandal continues, an ex-workers' MP responds

triangleHealth and care staff shortages worsened by Tory vaccine sacking threat

triangleHarsh Tory regime for benefit claimants and workers

triangleSleaze and pay a toxic mix for Tories

Inflation:

triangleWorking class strangled by price rises and pay cuts

triangleCamden Socialist Party: The economy - will inflation become a problem again?

triangleMerseyside Matalan workers walk out over pay deal

Minimum wage:

triangleFight for a 15-an-hour minimum wage and an end to youth rates

triangleYouth Fight for Jobs - why we're marching on 9 October

Pay:

triangleSupport uni workers' walk-out on pay and pensions

Cuts:

triangleNorthampton: Phoney consultation to mask cuts

Economy:

triangleCapitalism's economic instability in the 'new normal'

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