The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has gone through its ritual presentation of an ‘alternative’ budget in advance of the coalition government’s budget to be unveiled on Wednesday.
At the heart of this alternative to the slash and cut policies of the coalition, the TUC is proposing absolutely nothing except to beg the Tory chancellor, George Osborne, not to cut so deeply or so quickly.
The TUC, therefore, completely accepts that cuts have to be made in pay, pensions and the Welfare State in order to bail the bankers out of the crisis that they caused, they just want the chancellor to be a bit more careful and ‘caring’.
The TUC’s call for Osborne to adopt a Plan B is nothing more than a pathetic attempt by the trade union leadership to cover up the fact that they agree wholeheartedly with the government’s position that the working class and the middle class must shoulder the burden of capitalism’s catastrophic crisis.
The Tory-LibDem coalition has made it clear that there is no Plan B, no alternative for capitalism to survive but to drive down wages, slash jobs and privatise the entire Welfare State out of existence.
If there were any lingering doubts about exactly what the conscious policy of Osborne, Cameron and Clegg is then these will have been quashed by the latest figures for earnings issued by the respected Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS).
Its research has shown that income has fallen by 1.6 per cent since 2008, the year the banking crisis erupted, this contrasts with wages over the last 50 years when average income rose by 1.6 per cent every year.
Hardest hit by these wage cuts has been the poorest 10 per cent of workers who have seen their real income fall by £182 a year.
Working class families with children have also been savagely hit with a drop of £233 a year in income whereas in the past they would have received an increase of £1,060 a year.
At a time when the international crisis of capitalism is driving up the prices of food, energy and the staple requirements of life that workers spend most of their income on, this means that workers are not facing a bit of belt-tightening, they are facing absolute ruin and destitution.
Already in some regions, charities are distributing food parcels to the families of workers who have recently become unemployed and who literally cannot afford to feed their families and pay the rent.
This is the future that every worker faces under capitalism.
A future that can only get much worse as workers will find the costs of the imperialist war against the Libyan people dumped on them as well.
To claim that under this bankrupt capitalist system there is an alternative Plan B is a treacherous betrayal by both the TUC and the leadership of the Labour Party, and an attempt to divert the working class from confronting the real source of the crisis, the capitalist system itself.
Next Saturday the TUC has called for a mass demonstration of trade unionists in London under the slogan ‘March for an Alternative’.
The only alternative to the coalition’s drive to pauperise the working class and smash up all the gains it has made in two hundred years of struggle is to mobilise the enormous strength of the unions in a general strike to kick this government out and replace it with a workers government that will go forward to socialism.
Those reformist leaders who are so tied to capitalism that they refuse to lead this struggle must be removed and replaced by a new, revolutionary leadership.
Only the WRP is fighting to build such a leadership, join us today.