SPENDING on Welfare over this Parliamentary term has fallen by just £2.5bn despite the Tory-led coalition aiming to slash spending by £19bn.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said the reasons included a rise in the cost of pensioner benefits and an increase in housing benefit spend, adding that Chancellor George Osborne will need to make more spending cuts just to stay where he is.
Actually the government is readying itself to announce £30bn more spendng cuts if it is elected, whining as it does that ‘booming Britain’ has been held back by the world ecocnomy!
The blame for the fact that the Tory savage cuts policy has saved so little is being pinned on, first of all, the pensioners.
It is not just the ageing population that is cited, but the fact that the new generation of pensioners who have recently retired have a more ‘generous remuneration’, given to them by a coaliton that remains desperate to win the votes of the elderly.
Despite a £2bn cut in housing benefits there has been a rise in housing benefit spending of £1bn, due to the return of the private landord. This has led to a very steep rise in rents, which has been all the more deadly because of the way that wages have been cut throughout the last decade.
The latest research shows that private landlords are on average taking 41% of a tenant’s earnings.
The years of wage-cutting has seen to it that spending on tax credits has not come down by the estimated £4.6bn but ‘only’ by less than £3bn.
Then there is the massive resistance to pushing millions of people from the disability living allowance onto a ‘personal independence payment’. This has resulted in a £1.6bn increase in spending as against the projected £1.2bn cut!
As well, switching from the Retail Prices Index to the Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation for up-rating benefits has not come anywhere near saving the projected £4bn.
Osborne, who has made it perfectly clear that he wants further cuts to social security spending to help reduce the deficit, may now have to make much bigger cuts just to stay where he is, as far as the debt mountain is concerned!
In fact it was Chancellor Osborne who predicted some time ago a regime of ‘Permanent Austerity’.
The Labour Party has produced figures to show that the government has been forced to spend £25bn more on social security than the amount it had predicted in November 2010.
Labour leaders, shadow chancellor Ed Balls and shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves, have commented that savings from welfare cuts had been outweighed by Tory failure ‘to make the economy work for working people, leaving thousands more reliant on housing benefit’.
Even Green Party leader Natalie Bennett pointed to a report from the London School of Economics and the University of Essex that said the poorest groups had lost the largest share of their incomes on average as a result of coalition government policies.
She said: ‘This report once again goes to prove that Osborne’s ideologically-driven austerity economics are simply not working.’
Cameron’s belated warning that the world capitalist economy was heading for another major crash makes it perfectly clear that whatever bourgeois party or combination emerges as the government in the period up to next May, the working class faces austerity, more austerity and yet more austerity.
This developing crisis of capitalism is bringing to the fore the revolutionary role of the working class and its youth. They are the gravediggers of the capitalist system.
Making examples of a few bankers ‘a la Carney’ will not placate the developing revolutionary temper of the workers and the youth.
The task of the hour is the mobilisation of the working class, and the youth to bring down the Tory-led coalition and bring in a workers government that will put an end to the capitalist system by expropriating the bosses and the bankers and replacing crisis-ridden capitalism with a planned socialist economy.
Only the WRP fights for this revolutionary solution. The bourgeoisie is meanwhile voluntarily digging its own grave. The role of the working class is to firmly put it into its place of rest, and nail down the coffin lid. This is the only way forward!