George Osborne’s announcement of 30 percent cuts to the budgets of four government departments is just a taste of what is to come.
The scale of cuts due in his autumn statement in two weeks’ time is eye-watering. If the Tories get away with it, the impact on the welfare state will be catastrophic.
Even now, with the bulk of attacks still to come, a new report from the charity Scope described the effect of cuts on disabled people who rely on carers.
Some described waiting 14 hours to be taken to the toilet. Others say they go without food if their carers’ visit time is cut back.
All this is in the name of austerity to fix the economy.
This economic crisis began in 2008 and the Tories have been in office since 2010.
After six years of brutal attacks they keep on piling on more cuts. And there is no sign of real recovery (see page 6).
In fact the Tories haven’t cut back public spending as they wanted. In the coalition government they blamed the Lib Dems for holding them back. They went into May’s general election campaign with a target they expected to have to negotiate down in another coalition.
They even row among themselves about what to do. Iain Duncan Smith is holding out against cuts to his Department for Work and Pensions.
This is not because he cares about the people who depend on welfare benefits. His project is to reshape the whole welfare state, and he doesn’t want to abandon it.
To distract us the Tories want us to blame immigrants for overstretched public services.
So David Cameron has set off on a mission to get the European Union (EU) to agree that he can discriminate against migrants.
He wants to ban migrants living in Britain from receiving some welfare benefits for four years.
Cameron wants to be seen as standing up for British interests against the EU. He will use rhetoric to play to the “Little Englanders” in the Tory party.
But he and whole sections of the ruling class, including the bosses’ CBI, want to stay inside it.
They see it as a vehicle to protect their profits.
There is no such thing as British interests. There are only class interests. If Cameron can take benefits from EU workers it will make it easier to take benefits from everyone.
If Osborne can drive through 30 percent cuts while unions’ right to organise is attacked he will just come back for more.
It’s in the interests of all working class people to oppose this vicious government. The Tories have a narrow majority—they can be pushed back.
If trade union leaders led mass resistance we could stop all the attacks and kick out the Tories once and for all.