The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 2nd July 2010
THE CON-DEM coalition government’s planned spending cuts will axe around 1.3 million jobs by 2015 according to Treasury figures that Prime Minister Cameron is refusing to publish but which were leaked to the press.
The Treasury analysis showed that George Osborne’s emergency budget would cause at least the loss of 500,000 public sector jobs and a further 600,000 and 700,000 job cuts in the private sector by the end of this parliament.
Labour acting leader Harriet Harman told MPs: “He hasn’t agreed to publish those documents. The Prime Minister should know what abject misery this unemployment will cause to individuals, to families and to communities. Can he tell us how much extra this will cost in unemployment benefits?”
The GMB union put the loss of public sector jobs higher, at 725,000. This figure came from an estimate by the Chartered Institute Personnel Development. This would take around £16 billion a year of spending out of the economy and lose £4 billion in annual tax revenues.
The redundancy cost of making this number of public servants redundant would be around £13 billion. None of these effects have been factored into the budget numbers, which only show “savings” from cutting public sector spending.
GMB National Secretary Brian Strutton said: “The public spending cuts will mean job losses on a huge scale and the ripple effects will run throughout the whole economy. The scale and speed of the cuts mean that the rest of the economy will be plunged back into recession.
“The Government is saying this is not so but it is now clear as the budget details emerge that they have not taken account of the wider effects of the public sector cuts. The direct impact on unemployment as a result of the budget looks likely to be around one million added to the dole queue and this will hit hardest on the poorer areas of the country.
“The true picture is far bleaker than George Osborne is telling the country and it is because he is cutting too far and too fast, more than the economy can cope with.”
Cameron claims that unemployment will be steadily falling over the next five years because of all the new investment and confidence that will be generated by dealing with the huge Government deficit.
But the coalition has told the motor industry there will be no more Government support. The banks have happily digested their mammoth bail-outs of two years ago — the cause of the deficit — but are not investing in industry. They are continuing to use the money to gamble in futures, hedge funds, and derivatives in order to cream off huge personal bonuses for themselves. The rest of the capitalist world is in economic crisis and cutting back all around. So where is this investment supposed to come from?
It is a sham and a lie. The same lie that all public sector departments are being told that they must accomplish more while cutting 25 per cent from their budgets.
The police are being told to put more officers on the beat in spite of huge funding cuts — and they are quite rightly saying it cannot be done.
Those on long-term in capacity benefits are being told that if they are capable of any kind of work at all, their benefits will be cut at the same time as all kinds of jobs are disappearing.
And they are supposed to compete in the same jobs market as new graduates, who have just been told that only one in 270 of them is likely to get a suitable job. The Government is predicting that 2.5 million jobs will be created as a result of private sector growth by 2015.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said that was “absurd”, given the reduction in the availability of Government contracts and the likely fall in public spending as a result of the austerity measures.
“This is not so much wishful thinking as a complete refusal to engage with reality.
“Much more likely are dole queues comparable to the 1980s, a new deep north-south divide and widespread poverty as the Budget’s benefit cuts start to bite.”
Shadow Chancellor Alistair Darling said that: “The Tories did not have to take these measures. They chose to take them. They are not only a real risk to the recovery but hundreds of thousands of people will pay the price for the poor judgment of the Conservatives, fully supported by the Liberal Democrats.”
Meanwhile Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has just told the British Medical Association conference that the Jamie Oliver improved nutrition school dinners are a mistake — because some children have dropped out of school dinners.
Lansley believes that trying to force a good diet on people is bad policy — they must take the initiative and look after their own health. Is he hinting new cuts in school dinner budgets and back to the ghastly “turkey twizzlers” for the children of the poor?
The whole policy is an out-and-out assault on the well being of the working class. We have no choice but to fight back in every way we can.