THE leaking of the Queen’s budget speech is unprecedented, and is an expression of the depth of the split and the cynicism in the Tory party over the Cameron-Lib Dem coalition.
The leak was made on the eve of the announcement by Chancellor Osborne of just what is to be cut as part of his £6bn of cuts this year.
Unite members at the GMM plant in Luton must be prepared to occupy their plant and to march on their union leaders to demand that they use the whole power of the union to see that the plant is nationalised.
Also on the list for cancelling are other business loans, the £90m for Sheffield Forgemasters, the £20m for Nissan and the £379 million for the Ford Motor Company. The cancellation of the loans is a serious blow to the working class. There must be occupations in response, and a campaign of national strike action to secure the nationalisation of the threatened plants.
The government is to hold an ‘emergency Budget’ on June 22.
Meanwhile, the leaked Budget speech sets out an 18-month programme of 21 parliamentary Bills.
The queen will say that the priority is to ‘reduce the deficit and restore economic growth.’ The deficit is currently at £156 billion.
A Welfare Reform Bill will outline plans to strip claimants who cannot get work of their benefits. The millions on Incapacity Benefits will be checked to see if they can work – if deemed fit, they will be moved on to the lower-paid Jobseeker’s Allowance, and then onto Workfare.
More state schools will be allowed to become privately run Academies, outside of local authority control and able to set their own wage rates and terms and conditions of service. Parents and other groups will be allowed to establish their own ‘free schools’.
There are to be five-year fixed-term Parliaments and a ‘55 per cent rule’ for dissolving Parliament; plus a referendum on changing the voting system.
There is to be a Health Bill giving patients a bigger say in decision making and creating community ownership of NHS hospitals and local NHS budgets. These are to decide on cuts and closures policies.
Up to 300,000 Whitehall and other public sector workers are expected to lose their jobs as the coalition government sets to work.
George Osborne unveils the first £6 billion of cuts today, but the full scale of the sackings that will follow has begun to emerge.
The initial savings to be announced will target civil servants’ ‘perks’, which include taxis, flights and hotel accommodation.
The first wave of the Osborne cuts will attack Whitehall waste. A comprehensive spending review in the Autumn will then cut departmental budgets by up to 25 per cent.
Up to 400,000 public sector workers will lose their jobs in the next two years and further NHS job losses will push the figure up to 750,000 as hospitals are shut down and hundreds of thousands of ancillary staff, nurses, doctors and managers are dispensed with as surplus to requirements.
Up till now, three out of ten Strategic Health Authorities have said that they will reduce their staff by 30,000, making for a total of 100,000 if all 10 bodies are included.
As well, 70 local authorities have estimated that 100,000 council workers across the country will be put on the Jobseeker’s Allowance along with thousands of police officers, support workers and others.
Faced with this situation, workers have only one way forward.
This is to reject all sackings and occupy plants and hospitals threatened with closure.
They must demand that the TUC General Council meets and decides that it will take indefinite general strike action in response to the first wave of cuts, and that leaders who are not prepared to fight be sacked and replaced.
A general strike must bring down the Tory coalition and bring in a workers’ government that will expropriate the bosses and bankers and bring in socialism.