Socialist Worker

Reject Tory spin on low pay

Issue No. 2461

The editorial in the Daily Telegraph newspaper last week gave a glimpse into the thinking of the right.

It pronounced, “socialism has consequences”. It drew a straight line from the introduction of tax credits by the last Labour government to the Greek crisis.

This is a concerted attack from the top as George Osborne was set to slash tax credits in the budget this week. 

Whatever his spin, the Tories don’t care about workers’ low pay. Only 40 percent of those entitled to tax credits claim them—and the Tories have already made them worth less and harder to claim. 

But any cut in tax credits would reduce the incomes of 

45 percent of working families. The majority—72 percent—of the losers earn less than £20,000.

It would reduce their incomes by an average of £1,400 per year. 

The right wing Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank says the cut would increase the number of children living in poverty by 300,000.

Labour brought tax credits in to subsidise low pay and therefore cut unemployment.  And Labour wasn’t averse to massaging the poverty figures. But the Tories now want to attack them out of spite to encourage poverty. 

This is not about cutting deficits or balancing the books—it is attacking the poor. 

Resistance is what’s needed. It is the only real way to increase wages.

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What We Think
Tue 7 Jul 2015, 18:07 BST
Issue No. 2461
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