CHANCELLOR Sunak received Labour cheers for his statement in parliament on Thursday, as the Tories fought to regain some popularity after the continuing exposure of how Tory leaders, such as the PM and the Chancellor, broke Covid regulations, and displayed complete contempt for the millions of workers who carried out the Covid laws.
Sunak made it clear that his proposed ‘rescue plan’ was very, very risky. He told MPs: ‘This country is now experiencing the highest rate of inflation we have seen for forty years. The Bank of England expects inflation to average around 9% this year.’
He added: ‘However, over the course of this year, the situation has evolved and has become more serious. There are areas of particular concern. Even excluding energy and food, core inflation has become broader based and elevated.’
He continued: ‘And lastly, as the Bank has noted, longer-term inflation expectations have risen above their historical averages, by more than they are in the US and Europe.’
He announced a levy: ‘The new Levy will be charged on profits of oil and gas companies at a rate of 25%. It will be temporary, and when oil and gas prices return to historically more normal levels, the Levy will be phased out – and with a sunset clause written into the legislation.’
This is obviously fraudulent, since this current crisis is a crisis of the capitalist system. It is systemic and long-term and not just a brief episode.
His £21 billion support package includes £400 off energy bills for every household, as well as payments of of £650 for people on benefits, £300 for pensioners and £150 to those with disabilities. It is to gain time for the Tories, while they get the state forces ready to hammer the working class!
The Chancellor announced that the windfall tax will raise about £5bn, creating a £16bn ‘black hole’ that will have to be filled with additional borrowing.
Meanwhile,the capitalist crisis develops through slump and wars. There have already been stock market crashes and predictions that the imperialist war in the Ukraine will see food prices rocket out of control, leaving the ‘third world’ starving, while hundreds of millions go hungry in the USA, the UK and the EU.
Once again, Sunak is seeking to buy time and hopes that his sticking plaster for gaping wounds will see the Labourites co-operate with the Tories, even to the point of forming a national government, while the UK ruling class tools up for a class war against the working people at home, and revolutionary movements abroad.
In fact the Labourites were thrilled with Sunak’s announcement, and put all notions of removing Johnson as PM, and forcing a general election, off the agenda, in favour of working for a national government.
The Labourites, who are really pleased that Johnson has now adopted their pet policy of a windfall tax, can now be guaranteed to work hard to halt the railworkers strikes and all the actions that workers are taking to insure that families are not living on one meal a day.
There is no doubt that a sudden deepening of the world crisis could see Labour enter into a national government. For workers the situation is clear. The Tories are making limited financial concessions to save their regime, while they know that inflation will advance by leaps and bounds.
Workers must direct their trade unions to oppose any move by the Labourites to join a national government with the Tories, whose job would be to introduce the kind of poverty that workers went through in the 1930s.
The way forward is to turn the proposed rail strike into a general strike and make the TUC call for it at their mass rally in London on June 18th.
There must be no national government!
There must be a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers government in the UK that will nationalise the banks and the major industries and fight for socialist revolutions throughout Europe.
The Workers Revolutionary Party and the Young Socialists must be built up rapidly to lead the British socialist revolution, and build the Fourth International as the leadership of the developing world socialist revolution. There is no other way forward.