AT A TIME when the cost of living is rocketing Tory leadership contender Truss has been forced to publicly scrap her plan to link public sector pay to local living costs following a backlash from Tory MPs and opposition parties, and a very angry response from millions of workers all over the UK.
The Tory leadership candidate had proposed regional pay boards, in a bid to save a potential £8.8bn, by eliminating national trade union pay and conditions and replacing them with local pay deals!
This £8.8bn ‘saving’ would be made out of slashing the wages of the working class, from bus workers and train drivers to nurses, by regionalising trade unions and making national trade union wage rises illegal.
This is the race to the bottom, that the would-be ‘new Thatcher’ Truss was proposing – to consign the working class, from nurses to bus and rail workers to regional pauperism.
Truss tried to tell the BBC that the plan had been ‘misrepresented’ and people had been ‘unnecessarily worried about my policies’. However, the real cat had been let out of the bag and Truss was forced to dump her plan, no doubt to resurrect it in another form if she should be elected Tory Party leader.
Announcing the policy on Monday night, Truss had said she wanted ‘a leaner, more efficient, more focused Whitehall’ and set out plans which suggested savings of £11bn a year. This included £8.8bn which would come from introducing regional pay boards, meaning that civil servants pay – and potentially later other public sector workers’ salaries – could be adjusted to reflect the area where civil servants work.
It could have seen workers, for example, in the south west or north of England paid less than those in the south east. In addition to saving money, the Truss camp also argued it would help boost growth in areas, where the private sector had been ‘crowded out by public sector salaries’.
Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said the proposal ‘reveals Truss’ priority would be to slash the pay packets of working people’.
In fact, Reeves’ Labour Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer, is also opposed to workers going on strike to get wage rises at a time when the cost of living is rocketing upwards. Starmer sacked his shadow transport secretary Sam Tarry for going onto an RMT picket line and demonstrating his support for their struggle.
Meanwhile, the typical household energy bill could hit £3,615 a year in January, up from £1,400 a year in October 2021, according to a forecast from consultancy Cornwall Insight.
The government has announced a package of measures to help households with the rising cost of living, including a £400 discount on energy bills.
Last week, the government revealed details of how people in England, Scotland and Wales would receive the payment. The money will be paid in six instalments, with a discount of £66 applied to energy bills in October and November, and £67 a month from December to March 2023. How the money is received will depend on how you pay your bill.
However, for tenants whose energy bills are included in their rent, their landlord would receive the discount as they are the bill payer.
It is well known that the next Tory government will be 100% Thatcherite and determined to make the working class pay up for the crisis of capitalism, no matter what the costs of that crisis may be.
Truss has given the game away with her plan for local Labour Boards to slash wages and smash trade unionism.
There is only one way forward. The TUC must be forced by the working class to call a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers government. This will nationalise the banks and the major industries putting them under workers management, creating the conditions for communism. This is a society that expects ‘from each according to their ability to each according to their needs’. There is not a moment to lose. Forward with the British socialist revolution!