Socialist Worker

Scottish Labour's cuts crisis

Issue No. 2449

The Labour leadership hung its Blairite Scottish leader Jim Murphy out to dry this week and essentially gave up in Scotland.

Murphy’s desperate battle to stop a meltdown in May and recast Labour in Scotland as more than a “branch office” has taken another heavy blow.

Murphy said in a televised debate last week, “We don’t have to make further cuts after 2015 and 2016.”

But on Monday Labour’s shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna slapped him down saying Murphy “will not be in charge of the UK budget”.

Umunna pointed out that Labour leader Ed Miliband “was absolutely clear” that there will be more cuts under a Labour government. 

And Labour’s shadow chancellor Ed Balls made sure the point was driven home by telling Scots they won’t be exempt from spending cuts.

Scottish National Party (SNP) leaders can’t believe their luck. 

A poll by TNS last week showed more working class and younger voters moving to the SNP. 

Labour was down six points, on 24 percent, and the SNP was up six points to 52 percent.

SNP support is fuelled by its “anti-austerity” message. 

They say their cuts won’t be as bad as Labour’s.

Yet in reality both parties will “balance the books” on the backs of the poor. 

That’s why we need a clear anti-austerity alternative.

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