Osborne to slash £5bn from welfare – answer with general strike


In today’s Autumn statement on the economy, the Tory chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne, will announce that he intends to ‘kick start’ British capitalism by slashing a further £5 billion from government welfare expenditure.

Osborne trailed today’s statement in an interview with the BBC on Sunday where he revealed that in a desperate attempt to stave off what he admitted was an imminent double-dip recession he will provide £5 billion for capital investment which would form part of a £30 billion national infrastructure project.

The £5 billion from the government would come from cuts in the welfare budget while the rest would be provided by pension funds.

The £30 billion, according to Osborne, would be used to pay for road infrastructure projects such as road and school building.

Osborne’s other plan for ‘saving’ the bankrupt capitalist system is for the government (that is the taxpayer) to guarantee bank loans to small businesses to the tune of a further £40 billion.

It does not take a genius to see the thread that runs through these proposals – even the most pathetic and inadequate attempt to avoid economic collapse has to be paid for by the working class through welfare cuts and guarantees that the banks will not lose a penny as British firms go bust.

As for those with pension plans, their future is to be mortgaged to the hilt in financing schemes that the banks will not touch with a barge-pole.

The refusal of the banks to invest at all in the ‘small businesses’ and entrepreneurs so loved by Tories and Labour has a quite sound reason behind it – they are going bust at an increasing rate as the capitalist markets internationally collapse.

Not for nothing have the bourgeois press dubbed this as Osborne’s ‘Plan P’, with the P standing for panic.

The real intention behind all this guff about kick starting the economy is crystal clear – even more savage cuts in welfare and an escalation of the war against pay, conditions and pensions in order to try and prevent the collapse of the banking system.

If Osborne and the government have no illusions that the capitalist system can only be defended by declaring war on workers and smashing every gain of the Welfare State, the same cannot be said of the TUC.

On the eve of the chancellor’s speech they have produced a ten point plan B which they are begging the coalition to adopt.

The substance of this plan is to call for a campaign of investment raised through Quantitative Easing (shorthand for printing more worthless paper money) into small firms and companies if they promise to provide apprenticeships.

They are also asking the government to give a commitment that no young person remains unemployed for more than six months.

Clearly, the huge rise in youth unemployment and the revolutionising effect this is having on young people and the entire working class is striking fear into the bureaucrats of the TUC.

Their plan B is a desperate attempt to try and convince youth that there is hope of some salvation under capitalism.

In fact, workers and youth are only too aware that the only guarantee the capitalist system can make is that they face a lifetime of unemployment, poverty wages and destitution.

The time is now ripe for these leaders, who are totally incapable of leading any real fight, to be removed and replaced by a new, revolutionary, leadership.

A leadership prepared to mobilise the full might of the working class to kick out this government through a general strike and go forward to a workers government that will expropriate the bankers and the bosses and advance to socialism.