TORY CHANCELLOR Osborne provided an outline of his £6.2bn of spending cuts for 2010-11 yesterday, with Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury Laws using words such as ‘draconian’ to describe the measures, and ‘shock wave’ to describe what their impact on society would be.
Nevertheless, they gave no details of how much flesh was to be hacked away from the working class and the middle class, leaving just the bare bones.No doubt, this is because the £6.2bn of cuts is just the appetiser for the main courses, the tip of the iceberg.
There are hundreds of billions of debt to eradicate. The number of jobs that will have to be destroyed is truly ‘draconian’ and ‘shocking’ and it is obviously best for the ruling class that the figures remain a secret of the butchers for as long as possible.
The biggest departmental cut of £836 million is at the Business Department. This department confirmed to News Line yesterday that all of the loan guarantees made by the previous Business Secretary Mandelson are now under the strictest review by the Treasury, and could be cancelled.
These guarantees include a £270m loan guarantee to GMM Luton, £370m of guarantees to Ford, a £90m loan to Sheffield Forgemasters and a £20m loan to Nissan.
A Business Department spokeswoman’s opinion of how much these guarantees were now worth was to say ‘The Treasury will review them and decide whether they are value for money’.
But there are thousands of workers’ jobs involved in these massive industrial companies, with all of their families dependant on the wages that are paid for working there.
Now the Treasury is poised to give them and their families the thumbs down, and destroy their lives in the process. They may well be sacrificed for ‘the good of the country’, that is the class of industrialists and bankers whose policies are the source of the crisis that is devouring capitalism, but are untouched by it.
The other departmental cuts are £683m at Transport, £780m at Communities and Local Government, £670m at Education, £535m at the Department of Work and Pensions: £451m at the Chancellor’s Department, £405m at Local Government, £325m at the Ministry of Justice, and £704m at Devolved Administrations.
These figures add up to the loss of hundreds of thousands of civil servants, local government workers, teachers, lecturers and rail workers’ jobs.
The education department’s budget is being cut by £670m. The 20,000 extra university places promised by the Labour government is to be cut to 10,000. Extra university places and school services in England are to be cut in the coalition government’s drive to reduce public spending. Part of the £670m cut includes £311m for council spending on schools.
The cut of £200m in university spending will be in addition to £449m already announced for next year.
The UCU lecturers’ union said the decision would ‘dash the hopes’ of many young people – and the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition ‘should stop pretending that “we’re all in this together”.’
The Osborne, Laws duet yesterday threw down the gauntlet of class war to the trade unions, the working class as a whole and the middle class.
This gauntlet must be picked up by the trade unions on behalf of 90 per cent of society. The General Council of the TUC must call a special one-day conference to discuss the consequences of this Tory-Lib Dem coalition’s onslaught.
Those unions that attempt to look the other way will be inviting disaster. In this struggle an ‘Injury to one must be an injury to all!’
A resolution must be put down at a special conference of the TUC to answer the Tory-Lib Dem offensive with a general strike of the entire movement.
This general strike must bring down the Tory-Lib Dem coalition and replace it with a workers government.
This government must expropriate the bankers and the capitalists and bring in a socialist planned economy that will satisfy people’s needs not scrap them and treat them like refuse. This is the only way forward. There is not a moment to lose.