TORY Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his speech to the Tory Party conference yesterday pledged to ‘double down’ on his plans to resuscitate drowning British capitalism with a vicious austerity war on the working class.
He warned that there was a cost to any recovery, pointing out that the vast government borrowing had pushed the UK national debt to ‘almost 100% of GDP’ saying: ‘There can be no prosperous future unless it is built on the foundation of strong public finances’ and that recovery ‘comes at a cost’ – and that cost will be borne by workers.
Sunak drove home his message that he is prepared to do ‘whatever is necessary’ to cut the national debt saying: ‘Anyone who tells you that you can borrow more today, and tomorrow will simply sort itself out just doesn’t care for the future.’
He was making clear to the Tory party and the working class that he is prepared to unleash a massive austerity war against workers and their families.
In his speech, Sunak made no reference to tomorrow’s £20 a week cut to Universal Credit, or the already announced increase in taxation that will hit the lowest paid hardest – just a reiteration of his intention to savagely cut government spending.
He proudly announced: ‘I believe in fiscal responsibility. Just borrowing more money and stacking up bills for future generations to pay is not just economically irresponsible, it is immoral.’
His answer to poverty is to drive workers and youth back into jobs claiming: ‘The only sustainable route out of poverty comes from having a good job.’
Where are these ‘good jobs’ to come from?
Sunak’s answer to this was to announce that the Tories have plans to create 2,000 ‘elite AI scholarships for disadvantaged young people’.
This will come as a relief to the millions of workers and youth who face a lifetime out of work as furlough ends and industries collapse under the impact of the world crisis of capitalism at the same time as inflation spirals out of control and even the food banks announce they are having to cut back on the size of their food parcels.
Sunak may believe in the ‘awesome power of opportunity’ offered by an insulting promise of a brave new future in Artificial Intelligence, but the working class and young people won’t be deceived for a moment.
Sunak’s speech was a declaration that the previous Tory policy of borrowing huge amounts to keep bankrupt British capitalism staggering on, and to prevent the working class from rising up, is well and truly over.
While Sunak talks about 2,000 jobs in AI, an estimated 2.5 million people in the UK are immediately facing the choice between putting food on the table or heating their homes this winter.
Sunak had nothing for them except the promise of increased council taxes to pay for social care on top of all the other increases already introduced.
It was always clear that the massive borrowing that has driven the national debt to over £2.2 trillion will have to be paid back because the international financiers and banks that loaned this money demand repayment.
Now the time has come for the Tories to exact the cost of the capitalist crisis out of the working class. That was the message of Sunak’s speech – an open declaration of class war to dump the capitalist crisis on the backs of workers.
It was a shattering blow to the illusions peddled by the trade union leaders that appealing to the Tories to ‘help’ the working class is the only option.
In fact, the only option open to workers and young people today is to demand that these leaders either fight to bring down this Tory government or get out and be replaced by a new leadership that is prepared to organise a general strike to kick out the Tories and bring in a workers’ government.
A workers’ government will cancel capitalist debt by expropriating the main industries and banks placing them under the management and control of the working class as part of a socialist planned economy.
Socialist revolution is the only way forward for workers and youth today.