Socialist Worker

Tories rob the poor to pay the rich

Issue No. 2207

Protest over the budget in Islington on Tuesday  (Pic:» Guy Smallman )

Protest over the budget in Islington on Tuesday (Pic: » Guy Smallman)

Chancellor George Osborne’s slash and burn budget was a vicious class assault on working people.

It will snatch £120 billion from us – and it means more poverty, more unemployment and more young people denied a future.

At the same time the rich were handed even more wealth.

Ordinary people, struggling to make ends meet, will be squeezed dry to pay for the £1.4 trillion bailout for the bankers.

Osborne’s VAT increase hits the poor hardest: it’ll cost you the same whether you earn £100 a week or £100,000. It’s the most unfair tax of all.

The two-year freeze on public sector pay means big cuts in living standards for over four million workers.

Hospital workers, teaching assistants and others across the public sector face a pay cut over two years of around 10 percent once inflation is taken into account.

And there’s worse on the way with the Tories’ Labour collaborator John Hutton set to serve up pension cuts.

Osborne targeted the vulnerable. People counting every penny of their benefits will see them fall in real terms.

And child benefit will be frozen for three years – a cut in real terms of around 12 percent.

Disgracefully, Osborne said these cuts for the poorest were to ensure that “everyone makes a contribution to helping our country reduce its debts”.

Yet the rich aren’t paying – they’re enjoying boom time again. Britain’s top company directors’ bonuses have shot up by 23 percent, new figures show.

Osborne didn’t target their wealth – he handed them more.

Their companies will claw back billions as corporation tax (a tax on profits) is slashed.

Proclaiming repeatedly that Britain would be “open for business”, Osborne promised the rate would go down every year the Tories are in office – to less than half the rate even Margaret Thatcher set in the 1980s.

Who’s paying for that? It’s us – with hundreds of millions of pounds already cut from education and over a billion from local government.

That’s not to mention the Tories’ most petty and nasty cuts, like an end to free swimming for children.

And in the background there are even more serious cuts to come. The slasher has only just begun. Osborne revealed that most areas of spending would be cut by a massive 25 percent over the next four years.

That means hundreds of thousands of job cuts and a firestorm against public services.

We need to confront the bankers’ blackmail that says our class has to accept cuts.

Capitalism caused this crisis and it’s the capitalists who should pay.

Now the deep cuts sweeping the rest of Europe have come to Britain, we need the kind of resistance seen in countries like Greece, Spain, France and Italy.

The Tories and their compliant Lib Dem lapdogs deserve to face a wave of rage.

Sharon Brown – admin worker

‘It feels like the budget is targeted directly at me, and people like me.

It’s confirmed all my fears that a Tory budget would look after the rich and take from the rest of us.

The Lib Dems have sold their soul to the devil.

I’m a low paid worker in the NHS in east London, but now I will get even less pay after inflation.

And my pension will be next in their sights.

I have four children and the child benefit freeze will hit my family.

I’m also very worried about the cuts in education. The VAT rise means half the things we buy will cost more.

I’ll have less money and prices will be rising.

Yet I can’t see any cuts for the business people. They’re only getting a tax cut!

And there’s still billions for Trident nuclear weapons.

I would like to see a fightback, and I want my union, Unison, to be at the front of that.’

Andy Ridley – health worker

‘George Osborne has punched all six million public sector workers in the guts.

We are already low paid and struggling to get by. A pay freeze will make it even harder for us to make ends meet.

I am paid over £11,000 so I will get a small pay rise, but that will still mean a pay cut in real terms if inflation rises.

I have a ten month old daughter. The rise in VAT and the freeze on child benefit will increase the pain for my family and millions of others.

We are paying hundreds of pounds a month in childcare just so we can go to work. Things are going to get even worse. I fear for the future.

The attacks will have a huge effect on how we live and whether we can afford to stay in London.

The budget is deeply unfair. The bankers, not working people, caused the crisis so they should carry the burden, not us.’

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