THE UK government borrowed £35.9bn in August, which was £30.5bn more than it borrowed in August last year. Borrowing between April and August totalled £173.7bn. The UK national debt has hit £2.024tn, £249.5bn more than the same time in 2019.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that while billions have been pumped into propping up the capitalist economy, tax receipts have dropped sharply, as the slump deepened.
The amount collected by central government in taxes dropped to £37.3bn in August, which is £7.5bn less than a year before. The amount of VAT, corporation tax and income tax collected fell ‘considerably’, the ONS said.
Capitalist Britain is going down the drain at breakneck speed! The Bank of England is believed to be considering introducing negative interest rates to encourage the banks to lend even more, creating the conditions for rampant inflation and the biggest ever crash of the capitalist system.
Meanwhile, Chancellor Sunak’s new ‘Job Support Scheme’, taking the place of furloughing from November 1st will result in huge job losses.
Even the bosses are moaning that one million hospitality workers are expected to be sacked, along with 300,000 employees in the ‘events trade’ – just before Xmas. The Job Support Scheme will see workers work a third of their normal hours with the employer paying the wages for that third.
The bosses and the government will then pay an additional third ‘to support the jobs’ with the workers taking a massive wage cut to balance the books.
The jobless and poverty floodgates are set to open.
At the start of the pandemic the government sought to reduce the economic impact of lockdown measures by temporarily boosting the standard allowance you collect if you claim benefits by £20 to £94.25 a week. Chancellor Rishi Sunak will not extend that temporary boost beyond April next year.
That means that in April, at a time when unemployment is likely to have risen rapidly by millions, well over six million families, already on benefits, will see their incomes cut by £20 a week. Meanwhile, there are no jobs for working class youth while student youth are being treated like criminal leppers.
Up to 1,700 students at Manchester Metropolitan University and hundreds at other institutions, including those in Edinburgh and Glasgow, are self-isolating following Covid-19 outbreaks. In Manchester, students are being prevented from leaving their rooms by security.
Robert Halfon, the Conservative chairman of the Education Select Committee, said 3,000 students were in lockdown at universities from Dundee to Exeter. Even he has warned that having students in lockdown at Christmas will cause ‘huge anguish’. Halfon said universities should also consider discounts to students who were no longer being taught face-to-face.
Manchester Met said it had introduced a 14-day self-isolation period at its accommodation at Birley and Cambridge Halls after 127 students tested positive for the virus. Some students there said they were getting ready to go out on Friday night when they looked outside to see security guards and police, who told them they could not leave.
First-year student, Joe Byrne said: ‘We have had no warning, support or advice from the university about how we get food etc, and instead have been left completely in the dark and practically locked up against our will.’
In Scotland, students are being told not to go to pubs, parties or restaurants this weekend. Students have also been warned that any breaches of the new rules ‘will not be tolerated’.
Strathclyde University Student President Matt Crilly said this was especially concerning for students who relied on income from hospitality jobs, and showed ‘complete disregard’ for their mental health and wellbeing.
The truth is that workers, youth and students are all in the same boat, and facing the same enemy, a bankrupt capitalist system and a bankrupt ruling class determined to maintain capitalism, whatever this costs the ordinary people and the youth.
The only way out of this crisis is through the building up of the revolutionary leadership of the WRP and the Young Socialists to lead a socialist revolution to overthrow the bankrupt capitalist system and bring in a socialist nationalised and planned economy, organised not to produce vast profits for the rich but to satisfy the needs of the people!
Join the WRP and the YS today!