CHANCELLOR Darling has told his cabinet colleagues there will be no more money made available for schools, hospitals or transport.
These vital services face cuts, more cuts and yet more cuts, and privatisation at the hands of the Labour government.
His Work and Pensions Secretary colleague, Purnell, yesterday spelt out the same message to the sick and the lame. Incapacity Benefit is to be abolished and its previous recipients will have to work.
This is a continuation of the ‘good work’ that the government has carried out by closing down 30 Remploy factories, where the disabled were at work, on the grounds that the costs of maintaining the plants for them to work in was too great.
Clearly the disabled are about to be dumped!
Darling and Purnell are seeking to bring in vast cuts, privatisations and very hard times for the working class, the middle class, the elderly, the sick and the youth.
Yet at the same time, Darling and Prime Minister Brown have publicly abandoned their ‘golden rule’ and have let it be known that the government is going to go much deeper into debt, borrowing vast sums of money, so that government debt will amount to as much as 48 per cent or even 50 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
To whom will all this borrowed money go? It is earmarked for the bankers, whose banks are currently halfway over the edge of the abyss, and who are demanding rescue by the capitalist state and the capitalist government of the day.
They are now demanding that the Treasury and Bank of England extend their mortgage support scheme to cover home loans issued since the start of the year – this is how broke the banks are.
When Darling says that people are feeling ‘squeezed’ by rising prices and will not tolerate higher taxes he means that he is frightened of a working class revolt, supported by millions of middle class people, so he intends to greatly expand government debt, and savage the Welfare State.
However, a vast increase in government debt will create the conditions for a major run on the pound that will dwarf earlier runs, such as those under the Wilson and Major governments, that led to a collapse and sky-high interest rates.
Meanwhile, the recession is deepening with the Ernst and Young Item Club warning that the number of people seeking work will reach two million during 2009, and that house prices will continue to plunge.
These trends will push millions of mortgage holders into negative equity, having homes whose selling price will not meet their mortgage debt, which they are no longer able to service.
Such homeowners face repossession by the tens of thousands.
It is in this crisis situation that Minister Purnell intends to ‘transform lives’ by taking away vital benefits – to try to cut the cost of the banks being propped up by the government.
He also plans to force long-term unemployed people to work for benefits. He called this service of providing near slave labour for the employers a ‘revolutionary’ one, ‘right at the heart of the welfare state’.
Speaking like a real Ramsay MacDonald national government man, Purnell stated that he welcomed Tory support for his measures, because it meant doing ‘the right thing for the country’, ie the bankers.
In February, his government welfare adviser, David Freud, suggested that two million people were getting incapacity benefits that they were not entitled to and should be made to work.
It is one law for the disabled and quite another one for the bankers.
The working class must now take action to prevent the threatening catastrophe of the capitalist crisis. It must purge the trade unions of leaders who will not fight and organise a general strike to bring down the Brown government and bring in a workers government.
This will expropriate the bosses and the bankers and abolish the bourgeois market by bringing in a socialist planned economy.