Socialist Worker

Spending Review cuts hit the poor and help the rich

Issue No. 2224

Cuts hit the poor harder graph

Cuts hit the poor harder graph

Multi-millionaire George Osborne’s class war spending cuts will leave millions of ordinary people without vital services and drive up poverty and inequality.

At least half a million public sector workers, who provide key services, will lose their jobs.

For people on benefits and those already in poverty, life will get harder. Disabled and ill people will have money snatched away.

Children will be left in crumbling school buildings and working class young people won’t be able to get into college or university. If they do make it, they will find course closures, fewer staff and an education geared towards business.

Attacks on housing benefits mean many will be driven from their homes. Workers will be forced to work for longer for their pensions, and will pay in more but get less when they retire.

Osborne’s arrogant response is to say this is fair. He says we have no option but to make cuts and that everyone is paying their share. He says he has protected key funding for health and schools—and claims his cuts are a temporary measure to get out of recession.

He is lying. The Tories are smashing up our welfare state because they want ordinary people to pay for the crisis instead of the rich. Their cuts are a choice, not a necessity.

Contrary to Osborne’s claims that those with the “broadest shoulders will bear the burden”, his own figures show that the poor will be hit twice as hard as the rich.

Osborne likes to drone on about how much debt the government has and how much interest is being paid on it. But Britain’s debt is relatively low. And the reason there is any debt in the first place is because of the £1.4 trillion that was thrown at the banks.

There is no need to cut any job or service. But even if cuts were necessary, there are plenty of other ways to raise cash. The richest 1,000 people in Britain have £336 billion and they are getting richer all the time—their wealth rose by £77 ­billion last year.

The government could raise money by increasing corporation tax and taxing the super-rich. Yet Osborne has promised to cut corporation tax every year that the Tories are in office.

The review included a small levy on the banks, but cuts in corporation tax mean they will actually come out with more cash.

£125 billion is lost every year because the rich avoid paying tax. But Osborne is cutting the people whose job it is to make sure this tax is collected.

Osborne’s cuts will be carried out over the next five years—and his review admits that more will come. This is not some quick fix to help the economy. It’s a long‑term restructuring of the welfare state that will hurt working class people for ­decades to come.

The Tories already stole £120 billion from us in their June budget. Now they want to take billions more. The Tories want to rob the poor to make the rich richer—and we can’t let them get away with it.

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