Socialist Worker

Do we ‘need’ to make any cuts?

Julie Sherry says we should oppose every cut—and make the bankers pay

Issue No. 2239

The Tory-Lib Dem government argues that “tough choices” are necessary to pull Britain out of recession.

Super-rich bankers and tax dodgers agree: the austerity measures are simply “necessary”.

Of course, they have much to gain from putting forward this argument.

The Tories want to go even further than Thatcher. They want to sell off Royal Mail and open up the NHS to private sector vultures.

Meanwhile, opportunities for young working class people are snatched away.

But, many ask, aren’t some cuts are necessary to bring us out of recession? Isn’t it just the pace and scale of the cuts that is too much?

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, for example, openly says that it is impossible to oppose every cut.

Yet while Miliband claims austerity is necessary—and warns against “irresponsible strikes”—the Tories gear up to further restrict the right to strike if unions try to strike against the austerity measures.

The argument about the necessity of cuts is an important one. The position workers take determines how we will fight.

The bosses are fighting ideologically, and so must we.

This means opposing every single cut—and arguing that we are not “all in this together”. We did not cause the economic crisis, so why should we pay for it?

If the argument that we “need” cuts is accepted, the bankers’ obscene bonuses will continue and the rich will keep avoiding their tax, because working class people can pick up the bill.

The banks were bailed out with £1 trillion of taxpayers’ money.

Instead of giving themselves huge bonuses, the bankers should give us our money back.

Instead of spending billions of pounds on war, devastating Afghanistan and Iraq, we should spend the money on public services for all.

After all, £120 billion of tax goes evaded, avoided or uncollected each year.

If the rich were just forced to pay their tax, there would be no need for any cuts.

It is a scandal that the richest 1 percent in Britain own 21 percent of the wealth, while the poorest half own just 6 percent of the wealth.

It is working class people who produce everything in society in the first place.

If we accept any argument for cuts, the fight to defend our jobs and services is weakened from the start.

There is an alternative: build for mass resistance and coordinated strikes against these attacks.


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Tue 15 Feb 2011, 18:48 GMT
Issue No. 2239
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