THE TORY Party split over how to pay off the massive debt run up bailing out the bosses during the coronavirus pandemic is now threatening to tear the Johnson government apart.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is warning that a record £322 billion will be borrowed this year, and this week MPs will be bluntly told it will have to be paid off by slashing public spending.
Philip Booth, a leading economist at the Institute of Economic Affairs, will tell MPs at the Treasury select committee this week that any ‘recovery’ will require even more brutal austerity cuts than those imposed after the 2008 banking crash.
Booth said: ‘We should look at those areas that remained totally untouched in the period of so-called austerity – health and pensions in particular.’
Booth’s recipe for paying back the colossal national debt through austerity attacks on the NHS and workers pensions will frighten the living daylights out of a Tory Party that pledged an end to austerity.
They are acutely aware that the working class will no longer tolerate austerity to keep the capitalist class in profit. But the other alternatives to paying off the debt are also ripping the Tories apart.
Speculation that chancellor Rishi Sunak’s solution is to raise taxes for the wealthy and corporations, increase taxes for the rich, and scale back the pension relief for top earners has got them baying for his blood and claiming it would ‘choke off’ any economic recovery.
It provoked Peter Hargreaves, a billionaire investor, to threaten that the wealthy would leave saying: ‘I know lots and lots of very wealthy people – a lot of them are saying: “if you put taxes up higher I’m on the plane”.’
If Sunak goes down the road of trying to get the wealthy to help pay off the national debt instead of making the working class pay the full bill, then the capitalist class are threatening to strike, sabotage the government, and crash the UK economy.
Meanwhile, others are warning Johnson that the ending of the furlough scheme is striking fear into those newly elected Tory MPs in former safe Labour seats.
Leading Tory backbencher Stephen Crabb yesterday publicly broke with Johnson by coming out against the ending of the scheme and urging that it be kept for key sectors of the economy.
The rundown of the scheme started today with businesses that have put staff on furlough now having to pay 10% of their wages.
This will rise to 20% the following month, before the scheme ends on 31 October.
The Bank of England has thrown its support behind ending the scheme saying workers should be helped to ‘move forward’ and not kept in unproductive jobs.
With the end of furlough, over four million workers will ‘move forward’ – straight into mass unemployment last seen in the Great Depression.
Torn apart by all the U-turns Johnson has been forced to make, and now facing the threat of a bankers’ and bosses’ strike unless they inflict the entire debt crisis on the backs of a working class that will not accept their lives being destroyed, the Tories are in a state of complete meltdown.
The only thing keeping this Tory government in power is the support of the Labour Party – which has remained silent in the face of the Tory onslaught – and the trade union leaders who have not lifted a finger to fight for a single job.
The only way to resolve this crisis is for a new leadership to be built in the trade unions that will answer the threat of a bosses’ and bankers’ strike by mobilising the strength of the working class in its own general strike to bring down the Tories and go forward to a workers government.
A workers government will help the bosses and their banker friends to exit not just the country but the scene of history, while ensuring that all their assets and wealth remain firmly in the hands, and under the control of, the working class in a socialist planned economy.
Only the WRP is building the party required to lead the successful struggle for power that alone can resolve this crisis in the interests of the working class, by putting an end to capitalism – join today!