Socialist Worker

Bankers are the real scroungers

Issue No. 2287

When David Cameron came to office, he tried to dress up his vicious programme of cuts with the rhetoric of a “Big Society”.

He pretended we were “all in it together” in attempting to “fix” Britain’s finances.

But the Tories have dreamed of this onslaught against the welfare state for years.

So now they are trying to steal hundreds of millions of pounds from some of the poorest in society. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

But while Cameron is clamping down on benefits, he doesn’t mind giving handouts to his banker pals.

Bankers at bailed-out, state-owned bank RBS will pocket £500 million of our cash in bonuses. The worst hit third of benefit claimants will lose £5,000 a year. RBS boss Stephen Hester gets £5,000 an hour.

Cameron has told families that risk losing their benefits to “go out and find work”—despite unemployment levels of over two million.

And he had nothing to say to parents who can’t find work compatible with looking after children.

Without publicly funded childcare this becomes even more difficult.

And losing mobility payments will make it harder for many disabled people to find work.

It is a repulsive Tory myth that there is an underclass of lazy people who live the high life on benefits and therefore don’t deserve support.

Low wages and increasing costs of living mean that many people are reliant on benefits even if they do work.

Some 90 percent of housing benefit claimants are employed.

The Labour Party has shamefully joined in the clamour for a clampdown.

While it has voted against some of the most high profile attacks, it supports the idea that people need to be forced off benefits.

The only response of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls to the planned cuts is to agree with them. It’s no wonder Labour is trailing in the polls.

They have given a kick in the teeth to every working class Labour voter—and a confidence boost to every Tory reactionary.

There is no effective opposition in parliament. But even if there was, it’s what happens outside the corridors of Westminster that will be decisive in this battle.

The strike on 30 November shook the government. Now we must unite to build another round of strikes to wipe the smirks off their smug Tory faces.

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What We Think
Tue 24 Jan 2012, 18:08 GMT
Issue No. 2287
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