NEW ANALYSIS by the research group the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) has shown that unemployment in the UK will be a massive increase on the levels reached during the recession of 2008/9.
According to the IES, in the third quarter of this year 450,000 jobs will go – more than double the unemployment rate during the 2008/9 crisis.
On top of this a further 200,000 redundancies are forecast before the end of the year.
It doesn’t take into account those firms that have under-reported job losses or have failed to report redundancies, leading the IES to warn that the actual job losses could be as high as 700,000.
In fact, even these dire figures underestimate the scale of mass unemployment as furlough ends and companies and firms across the country fold up.
In July the official government fiscal watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), estimated that a more likely scenario is unemployment reaching 12% by the end of the year and 13.2% early in 2021. This represents unemployment levels reaching over four million – dwarfing the levels in 2008/9 and reaching levels not seen since the 1930s Great Depression.
The OBR based their forecast on the economic crash in Gross Domestic Product (the measure of the country’s economic production) of over 20% – the worst slump in 300 years.
Along with the end of the furlough scheme the Tories are ending the temporary £20 a week increase in Universal Credit and Tax Credit rates next April.
This will plunge the millions of unemployed workers and their families into absolute poverty, unable to afford rent or put food on the table.
Yesterday the Trussell Trust, the largest food bank network, warned that destitution rates will double by Christmas as job and income support end.
The Trust predicts that at least 670,000 extra people will become destitute in the last three months of the year – a level of poverty that leaves them unable to meet basic food, shelter or clothing needs.
The Trust said withdrawing the £20 a week rise would leave millions of people £1,040 a year worse off overnight.
Last week the Joseph Rowntree Foundation also warned that removal of this increase would push 700,000 more people into poverty.
What is clear is that the Tories are determined now to end even the meagre support to jobs they were forced to concede at the start of the lockdown, and are now prepared to dump the capitalist crisis on the backs of workers.
Yesterday, the TUC’s two-day virtual conference was opened by its general secretary Frances O’Grady saying: ‘If the government doesn’t act, we face a tsunami of job losses. So my message to the chancellor is this: We worked together once before. We are ready to work with you again – if you are serious about stopping the catastrophe of mass unemployment.’
This is all the TUC offers to the working class – collaboration with the Tories, a useless appeal for them to continue the furlough scheme and a plea for an increase in the minimum wage.
With British capitalism crashing into economic depression the Tories are not going to hand anything out to the working class except starvation.
The only thing they want from the TUC is for them to try to keep an enraged working class from going for the throat of this Tory government.
Not a single motion to the TUC conference calls for the unions to mobilise the strength of the working class to fight unemployment or defend a single job.
These leaders are acting as a fifth column within the trade unions. They must be thrown out and replaced by a leadership that will not collaborate with the Tories but will call a general strike to kick them out and replace them with a workers’ government.
Only a workers’ government that will expropriate the bankers and bosses and go forward to a planned socialist economy can assure a future free from the poverty of mass unemployment that is all capitalism holds for workers and young people.
Only the WRP is building the leadership required to take the working class forward to power – join today.