LONG-TERM unemployed workers and youth will have to undertake work for no pay in return for their benefits, or else starve, with the government looking on, under changes unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne at the Tory Party conference yesterday and due to be legislated by the coalition.
People who are long-term jobless, after the Tory government’s work programme – under which a private company is paid to find jobs for unemployed workers but has failed to do its job – will face three options.
Over a million long term unemployed will be offered community work, taking compulsory training, or attending the Jobcentre every day. The penalty for refusal is a permanent loss of benefits.
Workers are to be penalised, attacked, and starved as scapegoats for the bankruptcy of the capitalist system.
Workers will refuse to do community work for no pay, because they know that they will be replacing public sector workers who are paid a trade union rate and are currently being sacked in their tens of thousands up and down the country. They have no intention of working for nothing and helping to bring in a slave labour system for the bosses to enjoy.
The capitalist system is in a desperate crisis and cannot provide jobs at a living wage. However, according to this Tory scheme of things capitalism is not at fault, the villains are workers who will not work for nothing.
In his speech to the party conference in Manchester the chancellor said that while the government will not ‘abandon’ the long-term unemployed (after all it is going to try to make them work for nothing), no-one will be able to get something for nothing, and he was not talking about the state aid benefit of tens of billions for the bankers of the UK.
The ‘something for nothing’ jibe at workers on benefit is absolute nonsense, since the working class as a whole provides the surplus value that the bosses steal from the working class to turn into their profits. As well, workers also pay the taxes that finance welfare state benefits and the NHS, and the benefits paid to the bankers.
This new assault on the working class is called ‘Help to Work’ and is once again aimed at the over one million that the government’s Work Programme scheme has failed to provide with a paying job.
The scheme will last until the person has found his own job or is presumably dead from hunger or living on the streets. It is the opposite of any help to work, since work for a living wage can no longer be afforded by capitalism.
For generations, workers and the trade unions have fought for the ‘right to work’ as wage workers in trade unions who fought and established wage levels that would provide families with a standard of living and a decent life.
It is capitalism that has failed. It has crashed and has destroyed jobs by the tens of millions all over the world, and completely destroyed countries like Greece while bankrupting even the great cities and industries of the USA.
Capitalism is an out of date bankrupt system that is seeking to drive society backwards, to the wages and working conditions of the 19th century, when a huge reserve army of the unemployed was used to keep wages low and starve the working class as a whole.
Osborne wants to use a new reserve army of the unemployed to break the trade unions, and break the working class with zero hours contracts, to bring in zero wages, benefits and pensions.
Osborne’s plan to use the unemployed as slave labour, and to starve them, must be opposed by every worker and by all of the trade unions. The trade unions must unite with the unemployed and with the youth.
They must call a general strike to bring down the coalition and bring in a workers government and socialism.
With the means of production nationalised and under workers’ management, a national plan to rebuild the UK will provide jobs and a future for all.
It will provide the basis to advance with the workers of the world to a society whose maxim will be not be the survival of the fittest, that is the law of the jungle, but ‘From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.’