OSBORNE’S BUDGET speech was devoid of any attempt to analyse the world crisis that is gripping capitalism and which is deepening by the hour, and impacting on the UK by the minute.
The Bank of England has just changed its overall leadership in an attempt to keep the wolf of another banking crash from the door, whose superficial appearance is the inability of the bank to decide whether interest rates should rise or not, out of fear of provoking the collapse of the housing bubble and a banking crash.
There was also no discussion of the way the Ukrainian crisis – with its growing raft of sanctions against Russia, which has the whole of Europe at the end of its gas and oil pipelines – is going to affect Britain’s economy and currency when the oil and gas prices begin to rise, with the prospect of a crisis emerging that will make the three day week under Heath look like a picnic in the park.
However there was a proud arrogance in the way that this country has developed under the Tories where five super-rich families have as much wealth as 12 million of the poorest people.
The Tory way out of the crisis is a combination of imperialist adventures abroad, and driving the working class and the poor down at home – back to the living standards of the start of the 20th century.
Just days after January showed a record trade deficit and a massive contraction of exports, Osborne proudly announced: ‘I can report today that the economy is continuing to recover – and recovering faster than forecast.’
Osborne in Wonderland then declared: ‘And together with the British people, we held our nerve. We’re putting Britain right. But the job is far from done. Our country still borrows too much. We still don’t invest enough, export enough or save enough.’
He added of the deficit: ‘But it is still one of the highest in the world – so today we take further action to bring it down.” The recipe for this is that ‘we’ hold wages down and ‘we’ cut benefits.
Osborne declared: ‘Securing Britain’s economic future means there will have to be more hard decisions; more cuts.’
Osborne claimed that only the Tories had ‘the credibility to deliver them.’ He added: ‘Britain was borrowing £157 billion a year before we came to office. This year we expect to borrow £108 billion. That’s £12 billion less than forecast a year ago.
‘Indeed even since the Autumn Statement the Office of Budget Responsibility have revised down borrowing in every single year.
‘In 2014-15 they say it will fall to £95 billion. Then it falls again to £75 billion in 2015-16, then £44 billion, then down to £17 billion. In 2018-19 we won’t be borrowing at all. We will have a small surplus of almost £5 billion.’
This is to be done by a permanent assault on workers wages, and by savagely and continually cutting the NHS and the Welfare State.
Does this mean that things are going to be getting better for the bankers and bosses and therefore better for the workers?
No it doesn’t!
Osborne declared: ‘Every time a post-war government has embarked on public spending cuts, real spending has risen back to its previous heights within three years.
‘And sure enough there are those today who say: ease up, spend more, borrow more. That would mean debt rising towards 100% GDP – undermining growth. It would be a huge mistake and we are not going to let that happen.
‘Many Chancellors, faced with a recovering economy and improved borrowing forecasts before an election, would be tempted to squander the gains. I will not do that today.’
It is to be permanent austerity with a permanent ‘welfare cap’ because ‘Britain needs to run an absolute surplus in good years. . . ‘So I can confirm that in addition to the cuts this year and next, there will be cuts in the next Parliament too.’
It is to be a ‘welfare cap’ and ‘pay restraint in the public sector – an essential part of maintaining sound finances and economic stability.’
Tory policy is that the working class must be starved. This is why the coalition must be removed by a general strike and replaced with a workers government and socialism.