Socialist Worker

The bidding war over cuts

Issue No. 2172

Tory plans to cut benefits and services are a chilling reminder to working class people of the true nature of the bosses’ party.

But just as depressing has been Labour’s response.

Its reaction to every Tory attack is, as Labour work and pensions secretary Yvette Cooper put it, it’s “a rehash of what we’re already doing”.

So the Tories want to raise the retirement age from 65 to 66 by 2016. But this is not an original policy—Labour plans to do the same, only ten years later.

And Labour tried to pull the rug from under the Tories’ feet on Tuesday when chancellor Alistair Darling announced a pay curb for hundreds of thousands of public sector workers—a pledge the Tories had planned for later that day.

The media focused on the more well-off people that the freeze would affect. But around 700,000 workers will face either a freeze or increases of just 1 percent.

Both parties want to make workers pay for the crisis.

The way to beat the attacks will not be to back one neoliberal party to stop the other—it will be to start organising resistance on the ground.

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