WORK and Pensions Secretary Hutton asked a question at the start of his verbal onslaught on the unemployed yesterday morning.
It was: ‘People want to know how we are going to cope with the big economic and social changes that are heading our way.’
His answer was – after a bit of ritual scaremongering about the threat from India and China – to force the unemployed to compete for jobs with migrant workers from Eastern Europe, to continue forcing wages down for the benefit of the bosses.
The unemployed are to be made an offer that they cannot refuse. It is to be, either compete in the ‘new labour market’, or face starvation by being stripped of all state benefits.
He said: ‘Over the last 10 years, the number of working age migrants in the UK has increased by around 1.6 million. Net migration over the next 25 years is projected to account for almost 60 per cent of population growth’.
Hutton is calculating that eastern European migrants will be staying in Britain, which is their right.
That means that over the next 25 years they will push wage rates up to join the rest of the British working class. Not if Hutton has anything to do with it!
Hutton calls for an ‘empowering state’, that will be ‘making it possible for each individual here at home to be able to exercise their right to work which will be essential if we are to ensure that our economy remains competitive and productive and that people have the economic security they need in a rapidly changing world.’
He exclaims: ‘Ten years ago, Bill Clinton summarised the challenge facing welfare in America with the phrase ‘Welfare to work, instead of welfare as a way of life.’
The result of this was that all of the New Deal protections brought in by Roosevelt were abolished, people were forced onto workfare. The end result is that the minimum wage in the rich USA is just over half of what it is in Britain today.
This is what Clinton’s measures achieved.
Hutton bemoans the Welfare State saying ‘people were frequently better off on benefit than in work.
This was a completely unsustainable position and a major drag anchor on our economy and taxpayers.
‘The effects were stark. While Britain got steadily healthier as a nation, the numbers on incapacity benefit trebled. Unemployment hit three million twice in a decade. By 1997, nearly six million adults in this country were dependent on benefits to survive.’
The Welfare State bred idle workers on incapacity benefit, according to Hutton.
He lauds Blair’s Britain, ignoring the loss of two million manufacturing jobs, and the greater gap between the rich and the poor than under Thatcher.
He boasts about the disability rights legislation without mentioning that the government is shutting down the Remploy factories that employ the disabled.
He continues that Labour wants ‘An empowering force that involves people as part of the solution; Not to see them as part of the problem. . .’
He spells it out: ‘If workers from Poland can take advantage of these vacancies in our major cities – why can’t our own people do so as well?
To those unemployed workers who won’t grab this ‘advantage’ he threatens – ‘for those who won’t do so, then there should be consequences, including less benefit or no benefit at all.’
His answer is starve them!
Our answer is that Polish workers are already flocking into trade unions to put an end to the poverty wages that are being forced onto them.
In fact, British and Polish and all other workers in Britain must unite against slave labour. Hutton is seeking to divide Polish and British workers by depicting the Polish workers as willing slave labourers that British workers must emulate or starve.
The way to answer Hutton is for the trade unions to unite all workers to bring down the Blair-Brown bosses’ government to go forward to a workers’ government and socialism.