THE TORY plan to cut Working and Child Tax Credits has succeeded in splitting the Tory party and creating divisions even in the Tory cabinet itself, meaning that the government has managed to undermine itself.
Under government proposals, the income threshold for Working Tax Credits – £6,420 – will be cut to £3,850 a year from April, while the threshold for Child Tax Credits will be cut from £16,105 to £12,125. As soon as someone earns £3,850, they will see their WTC payments reduced, while the income threshold for those only claiming CTCs will be cut from £16,105 to £12,125.
According to the research by the Unison trade union hundreds of thousands of public sector workers whose wages have been held down for years from teaching assistants, to social workers are expected to lose over £1,500 while other sections of workers will lose more than £12,000 by 2020 as a result of the £4.4 billion cuts.
Right wingers such as Thatcher’s ‘hard man’, Tebbit, and right wing organisations such as the Adam Smith Institute have warned that the cuts should be shelved, while other Tories have said that these savage cuts will do for the Cameron Tory government what the Poll Tax did for Thatcher – bring him down.
Today, peers will vote on a rarely-used ‘fatal motion’ tabled by the Lib Dems which would scrap the proposed changes entirely. The Tories are responding to the ‘threat’ from the Lords with their own threat to create many more Tory Peers to manufacture a majority!
Labour has an alternative motion which calls for the changes to be delayed pending an independent analysis of their impact and until transitional assistance is put in place. In this, it is to the right of the Liberal Democrats. However, as in the case of the ‘balancing of the budget’, in the face of massive working class anger the Shadow Chancellor McDonnell has again changed Labour’s position.
In fact, he has sent a letter to Chancellor Osborne offering to defuse the situation. In it he says: ‘Now, you, me and everyone else in Westminster knows that you will have to u-turn on this issue. However, you need to do it in full. It can’t be a fudge. Not some partial reversal that scores cheap headlines, yet leaves people still worse off or lands another burden on middle and low earners or the poorest in our society. You need to drop this policy completely.
‘I know first-hand that for politicians the fallout from changing policy can be tough. But sometimes you have to be big enough to admit you got it wrong and do the right thing. So I am appealing to you to put the interests of these 3 million families ahead of any concerns you may have about losing face and ahead of petty party politics. If you do, I promise you personally and publicly that if you u-turn and reverse this decision fairly and in full, I will not attack you for it.
‘To restore faith in our political system it’s time that politicians stopped making promises at elections that they won’t keep when in power – this is the lesson the Lib Dems learnt the hard way on tuition fees. For the sake of those 3 million families, and the British people’s trust in politics, please see sense and fully u-turn on your cuts to tax credits.’
This ‘Dear John’ letter is part of the parliamentary game, and is way out of line with the feelings and the mood of the British working class. It doesn’t want to see the Tories assisted in making an orderly retreat, it wants to see the Tories brought down.
The working class is not interested in attempting to ‘restore faith in our political system’. It lost confidence in it some time ago! It is interested in kicking the Tories out and bringing in a workers government and a socialist solution to the crisis of capitalism.
In fact the trade unions must react to the crisis of the Tory party and its splits and divisions by calling a general strike to bring down the crisis-ridden regime to bring in a workers government and socialism.
The only way to a better life for the masses is through a socialist revolution to expropriate the bosses and the bankers, smash up their repressive state apparatus, to bring in a planned socialist economy based on the ability to massively develop the productive forces to satisfy people’s needs, not provide super-profits for the bosses and bankers.