Sunak’s emergency ‘cost of living package’ a sign of Tory desperation in the face of world crisis!


ORY chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an emergency cost of living package to the House of Commons yesterday, as soaring inflation that is driving millions of families into poverty is leading to an explosion of the class struggle in the UK and worldwide.

With the energy regulator Ofgem announcing this week that typical household energy bills will increase by £800 in October to £2,800 a year, the Tories are desperate to try and convince the 12 million households facing fuel poverty that the government will act to alleviate their suffering.

The ruling class is frightened that the working class will not see its children starve and go without heating while the giant energy and food corporations make billions in extra profit. Sunak’s response is to perform a humiliating U-turn and announce a one-off windfall tax on energy companies to fund his ‘cost of living support package’. All to try to fend off revolution at home!

Earlier this week, it was reported that Sunak and Prime Minister Boris Johnson were fighting it out over a windfall tax, but suddenly the policy has become the saviour of the Tory government. Sunak set out that his support would be targeted at the poorest.

Sunak promised money raised from the vast profits made by the energy companies during the crisis would be handed out in the form of one-off payments to the most ‘vulnerable’ – the elderly, those with disabilities and people on the lowest incomes.

He promised that all households will get a £400 discount on energy bills. 8 million of lowest income families will get a one-off payment of £650 with a similar one-off disability cost of living payment of £150.

With the cost of energy shooting up by £830 in October, following an increase of £693 last month, a one-off payment of £650 will not stop millions of low paid households being plunged into extreme poverty and being unable to pay their bills.

Sunak came close to admitting this when he said that ‘no government can solve every problem’.

In fact, Sunak skated over a number of ‘problems’ that the Tories face namely where is the money to fund his claimed £15 billion rescue fund coming from?

At best, the one-off windfall tax on the oil and gas producers will only raise £5 billion – the other £10 billion will have to be found through borrowing.

This will further drive up the national debt standing at nearly £2.3 trillion – a debt that Sunak swore he was determined to cut.

When he started his speech, Sunak pointedly referred to the relatively high employment rate in the UK which he claimed, ‘does contribute to inflation’.

For the Tories employment rates matter as one way out of inflation for the capitalist class is to use mass unemployment as a means of holding down wages.

It goes along with the Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, continually demanding workers show ‘restraint’ in wage demands.

The speculation throughout the capitalist press yesterday was that Sunak’s emergency measures and dramatic U-turn was a device to divert attention away from the Sue Gray ‘Partygate’ report that further exposed the contempt of the Tory government towards workers and the law.

More importantly, it was a desperate attempt to try and hold back the massive anger and class hatred of the working class, determined not to be pauperised to keep capitalism from collapsing.

The overwhelming vote by RMT workers for a national rail strike was a huge demonstration of workers’ determination to fight, a determination that will win the support of every worker fighting to put food on the table for their kids in the face of the spiralling cost of living as capitalism crashes into recession.

The working class will not be bought off by Sunak’s pathetic promises of one-off payments.

Instead, workers will demand that the TUC national demonstration and march on parliament on June 18th becomes the first day of a general strike to kick out the Tories and bring in a workers government that will nationalise the banks and major industries bringing in a socialist planned economy.

Only socialist revolutions throughout the UK and the other capitalist states provide the solution to the poverty and starvation that is all capitalism has to offer as a future.

The bourgeoisie of the UK, the US and throughout the EU must be expropriated and replaced by a planned socialist economy worldwide, aimed at satisfying all of the needs of the working people. This is the only way forward.

Build the Fourth International to organise the victory of the world socialist revolution.