ADDRESSING the Scottish TUC yesterday, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber was desperate to show that the addition of another million unemployed in the next year, as forecast by the Labour government, and the bosses, will cost the taxpayer £8.1 billion and represents spending at £250 a second.
His plea to the government is to spend more, focus on jobs and growth, and spend more on the public sector, to sustain and create jobs, and that this will revive the economy.
Addressing the slash and burn advocates of massive cuts in the Labour and Tory leaderships to stave off bankruptcy he argues: ‘I’m deeply concerned by reports saying the Government believes it can find £15 billion of ‘efficiency’ savings from the public sector.
‘Of course we are in favour of the efficient use of resources and I don’t doubt that there are some sensible changes that can be made. . . .
‘But the idea that there are £15 billion worth of painless cuts is quite mistaken. To claim this is to play into the hands of the small-state right who lose no opportunity to attack the public sector, its staff and their pensions.
‘The best way of reducing the public sector deficit is by doing everything we can to ensure that the UK economy recovers as quickly and successfully as possible. The more long-term damage the recession does to our wealth creation, the harder it will be to recover the taxes now in decline.
‘That is why not just unions, but employer groups too, are calling for subsidies for short-term working. These can help keep skilled workforces together and ensure that businesses are ready to take advantage of the recovery when it comes.’
Here the TUC leader reveals that he is not even a socialist. He points out that one million more unemployed will cost the taxpayer £8.1bn, but he is not prepared to defend the threatened jobs, instead he advocates even more expenditure and indebtedness that will also have to be paid for by the working class.
He is prepared to build up a massive monetary inflation but he is not prepared to challenge capitalism to defend jobs with a policy of occupying plants that are threatened with closure, and fighting for them to be nationalised.
Instead he is ready to accept permanent short-time working for the working class. This disgraceful position puts him in the same trench as the CBI bosses.
The Labour government and the bosses are desperate to slash public spending so that they can carry on supporting the bankers.
Barber knows full well what they intend to do to workers. Once mass unemployment sets in they will slash the dole as the MacDonald National Government did in 1931, to usher in the ‘hungry 30s’.
His proposal to accept a permanent army of short-time workers only helps the employers, as well as spelling out to the working class that nothing can be done about capitalism.
The job of the TUC must be to fight all sackings, to occupy plants and see to it that they are nationalised. Its job must be to defend the interests of the working class, and to go forward to socialism – not form a bloc with the CBI.
Barber showed that he knows what’s coming next when he yesterday urged the employers and the government not to freeze or cut wages now that their rigged inflation rate figure shows inflation at -0.4%.
Freezing and cutting wages and cutting the dole is exactly what they intend to do.
Workers must have leaders who will defend every job, and will draw up a TUC cost of living index that tells the truth about inflation, and then demand wage rises to keep pace with the real inflation rate.
If capitalism cannot afford this then it must perish. The bosses must be expropriated and the working class must go forward to socialism. Only the WRP fights for this revolutionary perspective. Join it today.