Socialist Worker

As election begins - build a socialist alternative

Issue No. 2447

Selection of TUSC candidates

Selection of TUSC candidates (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Every day for the next five weeks we will be bombarded by claims and counter claims by politicians and their spin machines.

We will get lies and accusations and countless statistics about everything from the economy to the NHS and housing. 

The Tories opened the campaign claiming that families would be £3,000 worse off if Labour won the election. 

This was quickly shot down by the Institute for Fiscal Studies who showed there was no evidence that this was true. 

The Tories just ignored the flak and moved on to their next round of figures they think will convince voters to put them back into Downing Street. 

All they are trying to do is throw mud in the hope that some of it sticks.

David Cameron’s next claim was that the Tories are committed to bringing more jobs. The figures for unemployment appear to show that unemployment is lower than it has been for years.

But again the figures don’t tell the whole story. The Tories slashed jobs in the public sector to the lowest since statistics were recorded in 1999. 

In the last year alone 140,000 public sector jobs have gone. Those in work have faced relentless pay cuts and freezes.

Cameron won’t admit that many of the jobs that are available are low waged and often part time or zero hours. 

That’s why figures show a greater number of people say they are “underemployed”. 

This means they are off the unemployed list but can’t earn enough to survive on the hours and wages they earn. 

The announcement that inflation is now at zero has led many commentators to say that wages will be worth more and everyone will feel better off. 

Lower prices will be welcome for millions struggling in poverty. But it is not automatic that workers will have more money to pay their bills. 

Workers’ wages are not predicted to even get back to the pre-recession level for at least another five years. 

So there is a lot of catching up to do before the mass of ordinary people feel better off.

Bosses may even use the zero inflation rate as yet another excuse to limit pay increases.  

Working class people know what the reality of Tory rule means—whatever new announcement or billboard slogan they come up with.

The Socialist Workers Party is standing candidates as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) because Labour is not even claiming it will turn this situation around. 

Instead Ed Miliband says that he is committed to cuts, just fewer and slower than the Tories.

We need to fight for a socialist alternative to the politicians who want to give us five more years of austerity and scapegoating.


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What We Think
Tue 31 Mar 2015, 15:59 BST
Issue No. 2447
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