CHANCELLOR Gordon Brown told the House of Commons last Thursday that he will reduce the Whitehall budget by up to 20 per cent in real terms over the next five years. There is only one way that this can be done – through big cuts in jobs and wages.
These cuts will be on top of the £21 billion cuts outlined in the 2004 Gershon Review, which Brown said had already been responsible for cutting 40,000 jobs out of its target of 100,000 jobs.
The Chancellor told MPs that Home Office spending will be frozen and other departments will make efficiency savings of 2.5 per cent. He said £30 billion of assets would be sold off by 2010.
Brown added ‘Administrative budgets which have already been frozen will now be cut not only in real terms but in cash terms. . .
On job losses, Mr Brown told MPs: ‘We will reach the 80,000 figure by 2008.’
Meanwhile, in his advice to the Pay Review Bodies, Brown called for a 2 per cent cap on public sector pay rises till the year 2010-2011.
With inflation rising much higher than 2 per cent on the basic working class budget, Brown is proposing a wage cut every year for public sector workers till 2011.
He continued: ‘I am requiring asset sales in excess of £30 billion by 2010. . .’
There is to be yet more privatisation as Brown prepares to impose a savage deflationary policy onto the working class, while at the same time he provides the richest of pickings for the employers through his privatisations, his PFI schemes, his light touch regulation of industry, and his even lighter taxation of the rich.
The Brown statement proves that he has no policy differences with Blair on the basic issues, and that a Brown government will mean a continuation of the Blair government policies.
The trade union leaders are said to be very angry with Brown’s declaration to the House of Commons, since it places the working class and the trade unions on a collision course with the Labour government on all of the major issues of the day, on jobs, wages, pensions, and basic rights and foreign policy.
These problems can only be resolved by the working class overthrowing the bourgeois order and by going forward to socialism, the expropriation of the bourgeoisie and the bringing in of a planned economy and production for people’s needs.
This is why, while we are prepared to give our support to Left MPs who want to stand against Brown and Blair’s New Labour, and replace it with something that they call a real Labour government that will end the privatisation programme, we stress that the struggle to bring down the Blair government cannot be halted to suit their electoral stand.
In fact the struggle to bring down the Blair-Brown government must be stepped up.
There have been up to nine real Labour governments and they all proved to be capitalist governments.
After the working class forced the third Labour government to establish the Welfare State in 1948, Labour governments provided support to British capitalism and to all of its imperialist wars. This subordination to capitalism continued with the Labour Party purging socialism and nationalisation from its Party constitution in order to produce a Blair-Brown government, dedicated to smashing the Welfare State, keeping down trade unions and restoring imperialist domination over the oppressed nations.
The trade unions must take on the Blair-Brown government and bring it down to go forward to a workers government in Britain.
A workers’ government is one that will repeal all of the anti-union laws, nationalise the banks and the major industries under workers control, disband and smash the capitalist state to establish a workers’ state, withdraw from all imperialist war alliances and withdraw all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
A Labour government, purged of Blair and Brown will remain a capitalist government. The difference will be that a working class that brings down Blair and Brown, and keeps out the Tories, will not rest until it has established workers’ power and socialism.