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Tories promise tax cuts for corporations as cost of living crisis deepens for millions

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New figures from End Child Poverty highlight the brutal effects of Tory policies and cost living crisis—workers must resist
Issue 2813
A picture of some empty shelves running out of food bank supplies

Food banks are running out of supplies while Tories put profits before people

While rival Tory candidates promise tax cuts for the rich, even food banks are running out of supplies. The Parish Trust in Caerphilly, south Wales, had to close its doors last week because its shelves and tables lay empty. 

Founder Reverend Dean Roberts said, “While some people might donate food to us, they’re donating less than they used to. People have had Covid, then furlough, then redundancies and now the cost of living crisis—so we’re really seeing demand going up across the board. We’re seeing a lot of families coming through, even with the Free School Meals scheme.” 

Brutal Tory policies and the cost of living crisis are causing child poverty rates to rise rapidly, according to new analysis. The north east of England has become the region with the highest rates of child poverty, according to End Child Poverty, a coalition of charities. 

Poverty rates in Wales and the north east of England are higher than before the pandemic. In Wales child poverty was up by 34 percent in 2020-21 compared with the year before. In north east England, 38 percent of children lived below the poverty line in 2020‑21 compared with 37 percent the previous year. 

Joseph Howes, End Child Poverty chair, said, “It still feels like we are on the edge of a precipice. There is significant concern that the numbers of children in poverty will now rise again sharply with families facing huge cost increases in the coming months.” And people are so desperate to fill up their cars, in the face of rising fuel costs, that theft at the pumps is up by 61 percent. 

More than two million people have missed or defaulted on at least one bill, rent or mortgage payment in the last year. The research from consumer group Which, published last Wednesday, is another sign of the social emergency facing working class people.

Some 64 percent of people in households with an income of up to £21,000 said they’d had to make cutbacks. One woman on a low income of under £21,000 says “the prices of everything are rising so steeply”. “But wages and benefits are not,” she told the researchers from Which.

Yet all Tory leadership candidates offer are tax cuts for the rich and bosses. Sajid Javid has pledged to cancel a rise in corporation tax planned by former chancellor Rishi Sunak, and said he wants to reduce it by 1 percent every year. 

Jeremy Hunt wants to go even further and has promised to cut corporation tax to 15 percent in time for the next Autumn budget.  And Nadhim Zahawi, Grant Shapps and Liz Truss have all made similar promises. Some leadership hopefuls are attacking National Insurance to outmanoeuvre Sunak and pose as on the side of ordinary people.  

As chancellor of the exchequer, Sunak bumped up national insurance contributions (NICs) by £1.25 in the pound through a “health and social care levy”. The plan amounted to class war to make ordinary people pay for the social care crisis, and hit people in April. 

The Tories have now raised the threshold for paying NICs to £12,570. And Sajid Javid, Liz Truss and Tom Tugendhat have all said they want to see the National Insurance rise scrapped. But they offer no solutions to the cost of living crisis as inflation reaches almost 12 percent. 

Tory hopefuls unite over Rwanda deportations

All the Tory leadership candidates have pledged to keep the Rwanda deportations plan. 

Rishi Sunak said that he would send refugees to Rwanda. A spokesperson for the former chancellor said, “Rishi signed off and funded the Asylum Partnership Agreement with Rwanda, and now he just wants to make sure that it works.” So did Jeremy Hunt, who pledged to “make it work”. 

The first flight was due to leave on 14 June, but was stopped by a last minute legal intervention. The Tories try to portray any legal challenge to deportations as a sign of “elite judges” thwarting the will of the “British people”.

And now attorney general Suella Braverman has vowed to leave the European Convention on Human Rights in the wake of the European court’s intervention. That would go further than the government’s policy to replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights, but staying in the convention. Braverman said, “When people voted for Brexit they expected we would take back control of our borders.

“It is unacceptable that a foreign court had stopped the Rwandan deportation flight. The British people should be able to vote for their priorities and expect that their government can carry them out. This is the definition of taking back control.” 

The High Court adjourned a legal challenge to the Rwanda plan on Monday until 5 September. 

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