Socialist Worker

Tory vultures gather to plot their war on the poor

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2272

The Tories met in Manchester this week to celebrate and deepen their war on the poor.

Minister after minister got up and looked smug as they unveiled further attacks on ordinary people at the Tory party conference.

Their drive to shift wealth from the poor to the rich saw them attack workers’ rights, asylum seekers, safety at work and council housing.

Millionaire chancellor George Osborne was clear who the enemy was.

He said, “Let me say this to the unions—to go on strike in economic times like this, when you’re being offered pensions far more generous than most other people could ever afford, will hit growth, will cost jobs.

“It is totally irresponsible.”

Along with the bravado came spite.

He said, “We’re now going to make it much less risky for businesses to hire people.

“We will double to two years the amount of time you can employ someone before the risk of an unfair dismissal claim.”

He also introduced a fee of £250 to make a claim if you’re sacked or discriminated against, and another £1,000 to get a hearing.

Only about 5,000 out of 236,000 claims currently succeed at tribunals each year.

The average payout for an unfair sacking is just £4,900.

And so it went on. Cabinet minister Francis Maude said that “facility time”—time for union representatives to represent workers—“has got way out of hand” in the civil service.

Local government minister Eric Pickles said he was “going to call time” on union reps having time to represent their members.

They claim they’re bailing out the economy. But it’s an excuse to wage war on us.

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Tue 4 Oct 2011, 18:02 BST
Issue No. 2272
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