Socialist Worker

Tory 'hard truths' mean no let-up in war on workers

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2385

Chancellor George Osborne has announced billions of pounds of new cuts

Chancellor George Osborne has announced billions of pounds of new cuts (Pic: HM Treasury)


Tory chancellor George Osborne promised this week that 2014 will be “a year of hard truths”. This means more cuts. 

He said a further £25 billion of cuts would follow next year’s general election, almost half from benefits.

The real hard truth is that the bosses are raking it in while ordinary people are poorer.

Prices have risen faster than wages for 41 of the 42 months of his government. 

Soaring energy bills mean one in ten pensioners has to stay in bed longer just to keep warm.

The latest round of rail fare hikes brings the increase up to 20 percent since Cameron took office. 

Benefit cuts hit millions last April, including more than 700,000 by the notorious bedroom tax and many more by cuts to council tax benefits.

And a new TUC study shows that 34 of the government’s 43 changes to benefits have hit people in work.

No wonder there are an extra half million people using food banks, and an alarming rise in the use of payday loan sharks.

Now more landlords are using the benefit cuts as an excuse to deny housing to claimants.

Buy-to-let mega-landlord Fergus Wilson has sent eviction letters to all 200 of his tenants who are claimants.

Private

Yet the government is pushing even more of Britain’s housing stock into private landlords’ hands.

It is expanding the Right to Buy scheme for council housing. And the Tories want to increase the subsidy for buying a council property by 10 percent. 

It is no wonder the Tories are taking the landlords’ side. 

One in four Tory MPs owns rental properties—some with portfolios worth millions of pounds.

The government is openly targeting the most vulnerable people.

So, the Department for Work and Pensions intends to scrap a hardship fund for poor people who face financial crisis due to unexpected circumstances.

This can include illness, natural disaster or domestic violence.

It’s the latest in a long line of cuts that have devastated welfare, NHS and local authority services.

Osborne also brought forward plans to raise the state pension age last month. 

His pension changes will cut £400 billion from our retirement income over 50 years. The Tories justified their looting by pointing to the budget deficit. 

Now they have admitted they have no intention of ever giving any of it back. But they did give some people cause for cheer. 

The Tories gave the world’s biggest cut to top-rate income tax last year—gifting £42,500 or more to 13,000 millionaires. 

Now Cameron has refused to rule out cutting it further if re-elected.


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News
Tue 7 Jan 2014, 16:54 GMT
Issue No. 2385
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