Socialist Worker

Tories plan tax cuts for businesses as key services face crisis

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2681

Protesters held a Fuck Boris demonstration in his Uxbridge constituency last Saturday

Protesters held a 'Fuck Boris' demonstration in his Uxbridge constituency last Saturday (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Boris Johnson prepared for his television debate with Jeremy Corbyn this week by announcing a massive handout to the rich.

He demonstrated again the utter fakery of his claims to stand for ordinary people against the elite.

The Tories want to shower the rich with cash while services such as the NHS and education suffer.

On Monday Johnson promised bosses gathered at the CBI conference cuts in business rates and other tax breaks worth about £1 billion a year.

He claimed he would boost the NHS by cancelling his proposed cut in corporation tax from 19 percent to 17 percent.

But this still leaves the tax on business profits at a low rate—it was 28 percent in 2001.

Johnson also said a Conservative government would increase the employment allowance, which reduces employers’ bills for national insurance contributions.

“This will amount to almost a half a billion pound tax cut for small business,” said the Tory statement.

Yet a survey last week showed payouts to shareholders in major firms rose over six times faster than wages between 2014 and 2018.


The TUC union federation and the High Pay Centre said their analysis indicated that Britain’s largest companies listed on the stock exchange handed out £1.7 billion a week to shareholders.

So it’s no surprise that big business and its hangers-on are rallying openly against Labour, despite their anger with Johnson over Brexit.

The Financial Times newspaper warned its well-off readers last Saturday that “the Thatcher revolution is coming under threat” after Labour revealed its plans to take back part of BT.

The paper added, “Three big City investors said the announcement, coupled with Jeremy Corbyn’s plans to take ownership of utilities including water and Royal Mail, as well as taking shares in public companies to give to workers, would have a huge impact across the investment market.”

It quoted a “shareholders’ rights group” leader saying Labour’s proposals will “make the UK a no-go area for capital”.

These are the opening shots in a war to spread panic and prepare for real destabilisation if Corbyn is elected.

But the truth about the Tories’ failures continues to emerge. This week documents were revealed showing the NHS is running short of dozens of lifesaving medicines.

An internal 24-page document was circulated to some doctors last Friday. It listed 17 new drug shortages identified last week including drugs for cancer, Parkinson’s, and some eye conditions.

This is not about Brexit. It’s about manoeuvres by the drug companies to protect their profits and keep up prices.

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.