THE coalition’s ex-Defence Secretary, Fox, put forward his demands for the Tory-led coalition’s March 21 crisis budget yesterday in the Financial Times.
It was a class war message aimed at further enriching the bosses at the expense of the working class, the middle class, youth, the poor, and the trade unions.
Fox has put himself at the head of those Tories demanding that the budget must see big tax cuts for businesses including a slashing of the employer’s national insurance contributions, and give up any notion of tax cuts for the lower paid or taking them out of taxation altogether.
He also demanded that there be a sweeping deregulation of the labour market, to make it much easier for bosses to hire and fire workers at will.
In the midst of the greatest ever crisis of the capitalist system he urges that ‘The Budget must confidently assert that capitalism works.’!!!
He wrote in the Financial Times that ‘Although the coalition agreement may require the Chancellor to raise personal tax allowances (which should be paid for with spending restraint not new taxes) he should use the proceeds of spending reductions to cut employers’ national insurance contributions across the board.
‘If that is deemed impossible, he should consider targeting such tax cuts on the employment of 16 to 24-year-olds, making them more attractive to employers.’
His poisonous message for the working class and the trade unions was: ‘Political objections must be overridden. It is too difficult to hire and fire and too expensive to take on new employees. . . It is intellectually unsustainable to believe that workplace rights should remain untouchable while output and employment are clearly cyclical.
‘It is utterly unacceptable to condemn a generation of our young to unemployment by maintaining all the rights and privileges of those currently in work.’
Fox is demanding that the bosses have the right to hire, fire, close plants, cut wages and pensions, and bring in slave labourers working for subsistence wages, or in the case of youth working for no wages at all, while the working class movement is further locked and chained by further anti-union laws.
His call for tax cuts for the bosses was backed up by the CBI bosses organisation. It urged the Chancellor to give a £500 million Budget boost to business through a series of changes to the tax system aimed at stimulating growth.
Paul Kenny GMB General Secretary commenting on Fox’s intervention said: ‘So soon after Fox resigned after admitting “mistakes” of “blurring” roles here he is again making further mistakes blurring extreme right-wing drivel with changes the economy actually needs.’
He added: ‘Making it easier to sack workers or treat them badly at work will increase insecurity and conflict – like current dispute over bullying at Swindon PFI hospital – and will not create a single job.’
However, Fox, like Thatcher before him is all about increasing insecurity and conflict since this is the only way to defend crisis-ridden capitalism, by driving the working class back a century or so.
It is a mistake to just dismiss the Fox line as drivel. Instead just look at Greece where the stripping bare of the working class is already taking place.
Fox must be answered by the trade unions. They must say that capitalism definitely does not work, and that workers will not make any more sacrifices to try and keep it going.
In 1984 Thatcher was able to take on the miners while the TUC kept the rest of the working class out of the fight.
This time, the trade unions must be made to call a general strike to bring down the coalition and then go forward to a workers government and socialism. This is the only way to reply to Fox and to the ruling class as a whole.