THE END of September is ‘payback time’ for the working class as far as the Tories are concerned.
This is when all the debt incurred to keep a bankrupt British capitalist system from crashing during the pandemic will have to be paid back through savage cuts to workers benefits and wages along with driving millions of workers into unemployment.
On October 6 the Tories will end the £20 a week uplift of Universal Credit. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) this cut will drive 16 million families into levels of poverty.
Half a million more people are set to be pulled into poverty, including 200,000 children while a further 500,000 of those already in poverty will find themselves driven over the edge of absolute destitution.
The majority of those hit by this cut are working families struggling by on low pay and insecure jobs.
The Tories, of course, know exactly what the £20 a week cut means for workers and their families.
JRF reports that recently the Poverty Alliance group submitted a Freedom of Information request asking the government to reveal its analysis of the impact of this cut.
The Department for Work and Pensions replied that the Tories deemed that the disclosure of this information was ‘not in the public interest’.
It is only the Tory government that is interested in keeping quiet about the fact that they know full well that this benefit cut will drive millions into poverty on a scale not seen since the ‘Hungry Thirties’.
Simultaneously with cutting Universal Credit the Tories are putting the final end to the furlough scheme creating what an economist at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has described as a ‘double whammy’ for workers.
At the end of July, official government data showed over 1.9 million workers were still on furlough and that a further 200,000 were what is termed ‘economically inactive’.
When furlough ends and employers face paying full wages to workers thousands of businesses will fold up throwing these workers out of a job.
In the face of both these attacks, the response of the trade union leaders has been to call for the Tories to ‘think again’, as if Johnson and his Chancellor Rishi Sunak hadn’t already decided that now was the time to make the working class pay for the bosses’ economic crisis.
The Tories created the furlough scheme and introduced the uplift to Universal Credit at the start of the pandemic because they rightly feared that the working class would not tolerate the mass unemployment and poverty accelerated by the lockdown of the economy.
It was the fear of the mass movement of the working class that forced the Tories to adopt these policies.
The cost of bailing out the bosses and averting a mass strike movement from workers has driven the UK’s debt to an unprecedented £2.4 trillion and now the time has come to make the working class pay for keeping capitalism from drowning.
It is at this crunch point that the union leaders have stepped up their appeals to the Tories to ‘think again’ about ending furlough. All these leaders are interested in is getting a seat at the table with the Tories and bosses.
The Tories will not think again, Sunak is determined to end furloughing regardless of all the useless appeals from the TUC.
He intends to let unemployment and wage cutting rip through the working class in an effort to pay off the massive debt and no appeals to his better nature by the union leaders will get anything more than contempt from the Tories.
Instead of fighting the Tories and demanding their removal, these leaders have surrendered.
As payback time for the working class fast approaches, the immediate issue is to remove these union leaders who refuse to mobilise the enormous strength of the working class in a general strike to kick out the Tories and replace them with a new leadership prepared to visit workers’ own payback on the bosses by going forward to a workers’ government and socialism.
Only the WRP is building the revolutionary leadership required – join today there is no time to lose.