THE employers organisation, the CBI, yesterday demanded that the Tory coalition government go even further than it has pledged, in destroying benefits and pensions.
Clearly not impressed with Tory Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement on September 9 that he intends to slash another £4 billion off welfare spending on top of the £11 billion already announced, the CBI are demanding even more.
In its submission to the governments’ spending review, these spokesmen for British capitalism are demanding that the coalition produce an extra £20 billion in savings by cutting benefits and ending final salary pension schemes within the public sector.
The money saved, they argue, could then be put back into capital spending projects such as road, rail and building projects.
To achieve these massive cuts, the CBI talks glibly about means testing child and incapacity benefit, disability allowances, and ‘streamlining’ the public sector.
As usual these cuts are portrayed as being aimed at the comfortable middle classes who do not need winter fuel allowance or child benefit.
In reality means testing, as every piece of research has shown, hits the poorest and most vulnerable.
The euphemistic ‘streamlining’ of public services turns out to be nothing less than the CBI urging the coalition to hand over the Fire and Ambulance services to private business.
As far as the CBI is concerned, the working class must bear the full weight of capitalism’s crisis through the most savage cuts ever seen, while the bosses must be bailed out at all costs.
Clearly aware that this declaration of class war now has to be carried out in practice against bitter resistance, the second string of the employers’ strategy was also emphasised last Saturday, when in an article in the ‘Times’ newspaper the deputy director-general of the CBI wrote in favour of reforming the trade unions.
Whilst noting that ‘Unions that work with employers for the good of the whole organisation do have a role to play’, he went on: ‘Some recent disputes have raised questions about the role of unions in the post-recession workplace and whether industrial law is still appropriate. These questions will become even more acute as the government does the necessary job of cutting spending and reducing the deficit.’
The CBI’s answer to this is for more laws that would make any strike action illegal.
Only unions that work harmoniously with the employer for the ‘good’ of the company should be allowed to exist as far as the CBI is concerned.
They do not have to look too far to find trade union leaders who are only too willing to prove themselves worthy to lead company unions that work not for the good of their members, but to keep bankrupt capitalism going.
Faced with a government and an employing class that is determined to pauperise the working class, destroy its union organisation and completely dismantle the welfare state, the response of the TUC leadership is not just inadequate but completely treacherous.
This weekend saw the TUC lobbying the Liberal Democrat conference, with Unite and other unions planning fringe meetings during the coming week.
The Tory party conference is also down to be lobbied.
None of the gains of the working class can be defended by begging this coalition for mercy.
The crisis of capitalism is driving this all out war between the two classes and it can only be resolved by one class completely crushing the other, history will not admit any other solution.
The only answer to the CBI and this government is the organisation of the general strike to bring down this government and replace it with a workers government.