Socialist Worker

The Tory offensive on benefits enrages poor

Issue No. 2347

 The millionaire Tories running the government are on the rampage. 

This week they launched the biggest offensive in generations against the welfare state and the lives of working class people.

They declare this is not solely about saving money. In fact Tory millionaire and baron George Osborne has the gall to claim that benefits “trap people in poverty” and that the cuts will help them. 

So what’s his answer to the trap of poverty? To cut welfare and make the poor even poorer.

Osborne claims, “we’ve had a system where people who did the right thing—who get up in the morning and work hard—felt penalised for it, while people who did the wrong thing got rewarded for it.”

He wants people to feel the poor deserve to be punished, that people who rely on the welfare state have done “wrong”. 

The Tories want to pit workers against the unemployed. 

They don’t admit that the new attacks will also hit millions of people who do go to work. 

And many of those workers know that as the crisis deepens they may be one pay cheque away from unemployment themselves.

The divide and rule tactic may be an old one but it is being ruthlessly used by the Tories to try and undermine the possibility of united resistance.

This is why they are ramping up attacks on immigration. They are trying to whip up a moral panic about Romanians and Bulgarians coming here to work. 

They hope this will distract us from the real reasons the NHS and other services are struggling. 

But people are seeing through the Tory lies. 

Thousands took to the streets against the hated bedroom tax last weekend and in housing estates across Britain tenants are getting organised to stop it. 

This week civil service workers in the PCS union are set to walk out of their offices across the country. They are fighting for their jobs and conditions and to defend the services they provide. 

People are enraged at the hypocrisy of a bunch of rich Tory toffs telling millions of working class people that they have to live on less. 

The petition calling for millionaire Iain Duncan Smith to go and try living on £53 pounds a week—£7.57 a day—for a whole year got 120,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.

The Tories are worried about this rage. They risk losing the political argument about the need for cuts. 

That’s why they have invested so much into the ideological attacks on welfare.

But they can lose the political argument and still win the battle if our side lets them. That’s why workers need to demand their union leaders organise resistance to this assault on our class.

We need to turn this rage into a fight that can stop the Tories and bring them down.

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What We Think
Fri 5 Apr 2013, 16:02 BST
Issue No. 2347
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