Sunak’s Spring Statement reinforces Tory war to make workers pay for crisis


TORY chancellor Rishi Sunak opened his Spring budget statement with a naked appeal for the nation to ‘pull together’ and that the nation should be grateful for ‘the security’ we have in the UK, security he insisted was a result of British capitalism’s massive ‘economic strength’.

This statement by Sunak came on the very day that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) announced that the official inflation rate for February hit a 30-year high of 6.2%.

Since February, the rate of inflation has shot up, as all the sanctions against Russia have driven up the cost of oil, gas and food items – sending them way beyond 6.2%, with economists now predicting inflation will reach double figures shortly.

Sunak was clearly aware that simply repeating that the UK had a strong economy would not wash with a working class facing unprecedented increases in the cost-of-living.

Workers’ wages are far below even the official rate of inflation, while the increases in energy costs are forcing millions of families into fuel poverty which no amount of ‘belt tightening’ or cutting back on non-essentials can provide any relief.

This has created an explosive situation in the working class, with a massive increase in strikes over pay and conditions erupting across the country – from university staff through to council and transport workers.

The working class is showing it will not be driven into the gutter by a capitalist system that, despite all Sunak’s claims, is drowning in massive debt and facing the abyss of recession and collapse.

With the threat of a working class revolutionised by this crisis, Sunak announced the most paltry concessions to the cost of living crisis in the hope of diverting anger away from the Tories.

On the energy crisis, Sunak announced he would cut fuel tax by 5% which would make it £3.30 cheaper to fill the tank of a typical family car.

Hardly a massive issue for the millions of workers without cars, and a pathetic amount when the price of fuel internationally is reaching astronomic heights as a result of the imperialist war against Russia.

What Sunak refused to do, was to cancel the increase in National Insurance contributions due in April and reinstate the £20 increase in Universal Credit benefits he cut last September.

Equally, Sunak was silent over any tax increases on the oil companies that have made billions in profit out of the crisis. Their profits are sacrosanct as far as Sunak and the Tories are concerned – the working class will have to pay the cost of capitalism’s crisis and its imperialist war aims to smash the gains of the Russian Revolution to re-establish capitalism as the dominant world force.

Despite all Sunak’s empty promises about protecting low paid families, the OBR, immediately after his statement, estimated that living standards in the UK will fall by the fastest annual rate since records began in the mid-1950s.

The OBR added that this forecast was made before sanctions were imposed on Russia and therefore didn’t take into account the surge in energy and food prices resulting from them.

In fact workers face the biggest surge in the cost of living since the 1930s great depression, as capitalism plunges into a historic world crisis.

Sunak’s speech continually emphasised the Tory imperative to bring down the national debt of £2.3 trillion, making it clear that bringing down government spending through cuts to public spending was his main priority.

Sunak’s speech, with all its talk of workers having to make sacrifices, and of ‘hard decisions’ that the Tories are being forced to make in the near future, was a clear message that British capitalism is on its last legs and can only survive through pauperising tens of millions of workers.

The powerful working class will not accept this as a price to pay to keep the bosses and bankers rolling in profit.

Instead workers are rapidly reaching the conclusion that the only way forward is to demand their unions take mass strike action to bring down this Tory government and bring in a workers’ government and advance to a socialist planned economy through a socialist revolution!