It’s still austerity, more austerity and yet more austerity from Osborne and the Tories


The UK economy grew by 0.8% in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the latest figures produced by the government.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) commented that the capitalist economy is now 0.6% smaller than its 2008 peak.

Chancellor George Osborne was very cautious about the economic crisis commenting that Tuesday’s figure showed that ‘Britain is coming back’, but that the recovery could not be taken for granted. He added: ‘The impact of the Great Recession is still being felt, but the foundations for a broad based recovery are now in place.’

However while economies like the US and Germany have now moved ahead of their pre-crash peaks, the UK is still lagging behind.

Osborne spelt out that: ‘The biggest risk to economic security would be abandoning the plan that is laying those foundations.’ He was, of course, referring to his permanent austerity programme.

Labour Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said that despite the tiny growth figure, ‘millions of hardworking people are still feeling no recovery at all’.

The ONS”s first growth estimate for the quarter is a slight increase on the 0.7% recorded for the final quarter of 2013, and a rise of 3.1% on the same period a year ago. Agriculture was the only one of the four main industrial sectors to register a fall in output, dropping by 0.7%.

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said: ‘We have a very long way to go to climb out of the hole caused by the recession.

‘Much of the growth is due to demographic factors and the increase in population means GDP per head is still 5.7% below 2007 levels. This is the root cause of average earnings being down 13.8% in real terms since then.

‘The share of income from labour in the UK going to the top 1% of earners has nearly doubled from 7% in 1970 to 13% in 2011. Before the recession the top 1% of earners were raking in over 15% of all pay. There is nothing to stop the top 1% getting the lion’s share again.

‘The pay of the bottom 50% of the workforce is still being squeezed. Public sector workers pay is being frozen or increasing less than inflation.’

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady warned: ‘However welcome these figures are the economy remains below its 2008 peak and most people have yet to see much benefit from growth. Pay and job prospects are still below pre-crash levels, and there will need to be many more years of figures like today’s, before ordinary families recover lost ground.

‘The worst possible conclusion from today is to believe that the recovery is now strong enough to survive higher interest rates.’

The hard fact is that the worldwide crisis of the capitalist system is still deepening. The world’s banks are trembling at the thought that the US quantitative Easing programme (money for nothing) will be cut back or ended this year.

The only way out of the crisis for the ruling classes of the world is to make the working class pay for all of it. The Tory austerity offensive is just beginning. It is to be cut after cut, with zero hour contracts for the whole of the working class, and Workfare, work for nothing, for the unemployed, at the expense of millions of public sector jobs.

The tiny growth in GDP is a product of the Tory beat, beat, and beat again policies at home, which have already produced a huge growth, not in production, but in the numbers of homeless and Food Banks! What growth there is, is a product of starving the masses at home.

This is the policy that the ruling class is determined to stick to. The working class however is more and more determined to put an end to endless austerity. In the days ahead it will force the TUC to call a general strike to bring down the coalition, and create the conditions for the British socialist revolution to put an end to capitalism forever.