SEVEN departments of government, the Ministry of Justice, Department for Communities and Local Government, Department for Energy and Climate Change, HM Treasury, the Cabinet Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and The Northern Ireland department have agreed to 10% cuts for the year 2015.
This means that tens of thousands more civil servants face the sack, and that huge chunks of the government are to be privatised, including the Justice system, the Courts and the Probation and Prison services.
Osborne agrees that the cuts will be ‘difficult’ but necessary, so that money is found to spend on privatising the NHS and other ‘national priorities’.
Negotiations over savings are continuing with other big departments, such as the Ministry of Defence and the Home Office, but ministers have insisted they they will not do anything to put at risk people’s safety ‘at home or abroad’.
This means that the police and military cuts are to be reversed.
The savings agreed so far, in talks with departments and in previous announcements, mean the Treasury still has to find £8bn of the £11.5bn to be saved in the spending review.
To order, ex-army officer Ian Duncan Smith has offered to cut Britain’s Welfare Bill by up to another £3 billion. This is to be handed over to the armed forces and to the police.
He has already had discussions with the the Defence and Home Secretaries about the details of his proposed cuts and suggestions as to how the police and the military could use the additional cash.
Duncan Smith has volunteered to end housing benefit for the under-25s, and to penalise families who have more than two children by slashing state payments to them.
These proposals, and the talks that are already taking place, have begun to rock the Coalition to its foundations, with the LibDems rejecting them following their rejection of state control of the internet.
The private talks between the three Conservative Cabinet ministers are expected to cause renewed tensions within the Coalition. The Tories, meanwhile, reckon that they will be able to substitute the Labour right wing for their former LibDem allies.
The essence of the situation is that as the world crisis of capitalism deepens the plans of the Cameron government to end the NHS and the Welfare State at home are becoming more determined and more desperate, as is their determination to achieve regime change in countries like Syria and Iran, no matter what the cost.
To carry out the former inevitably means stoking up the the biggest class struggles since the 1984-87 miners’ and printers’ strikes and the 1990 Poll Tax riots.
This situation will need reliable state forces of all kinds, well equipped and well paid, and well pensioned, as well as a mass of repressive legislation including secret courts and secret trials that will be able to jail ‘subversives’.
New wars in the Middle East and the Gulf require an end to military cuts and an increase in expenditure.
The resources for all of these projects will have to be forced out of the working class, the youth, the middle class and the poor.
There is no doubt that these classes will resist mightily and will not allow all the gains that they have made since the Second World War to be abolished, with a return to the 1930s or worse.
Under crisis-ridden capitalism there is no future for the working class, the youth and the majority of the middle class.
It is this crisis that must be resolved by socialist revolutions in all of the advanced capitalist countries, with the working class taking power and bringing in a planned socialist economy.
For this to be carried through, sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International must be built in all of the main capitalist countries to provide the revolutionary leadership.