Fat cats back Tories

by Daphne Liddle

THE TELEGRAPH last Wednesday published a letter from 103 leaders of businesses supporting the Tory party in the coming election, saying they especially like the corporation tax cuts that Prime Minister Cameron has introduced and announced that he will cut this tax even more if re-elected.

As Labour leader Ed Miliband said, it is hardly surprising that these people enjoy having their taxes cut.

Corporation tax has been falling steadily for the past three decades under both Labour and Tory governments. At the same time many giant multinational businesses avoid paying most if not all of it anyway by careful accounting — making sure the part of their business in this country appears to be making very little profit — and by taking advantages of allowances for using green energy, giving money to charity and so on.

These fat cats now demand yet more cuts in corporation tax “to assist Britain’s economic recovery” — claiming that without these cuts we’ll be back in a recession.

Such blatant self-interest at everyone else’s expense is breath taking but it demonstrates their belief that they see their own wealth and profits as the only things that matter in our society.

Their letter came just after Miliband had made a promise to cut down on zero-hours contracts — something these fat cats love because it gives them a disposable workforce with virtually no rights. Miliband promised that everyone on a zero-hours contract will be entitled to a regular work contract after three months.

The existence of these contracts is a defeat for the working class and it undermines all rights to expect a regular pay check, to sick pay and to paid holidays.

But the fat cats claim that it is these contracts that have brought unemployment figures down. In other words they are saying they will refuse to employ people except under these horrendous conditions that render workers little more than slaves.

That we now have around four million workers employed under these shameful conditions is a defeat for everything the working class movement has struggled for for the last two centuries.

And it is a system backed up by a benefits system that will refuse all benefits to an unemployed person who refuses to work on these terms. It makes the claim in the nationalists’ song that “Britons never never will be slaves” ironic to say the least.

This letter in the Telegraph should boost Labour’s poll ratings a lot. It is a blatant piece self-interest promotion. They would squeal to high heaven if a large group of disabled people declared they backed a party that would restore all the cuts that have been made to their benefits — but this would be a far more moral use of the Government’s financial resources.

But there is a danger that some right-wing middle-class careerists inside the Labour Party will respond to it in totally the wrong way and think they will lose votes they were never going to get anyway unless they kowtow to the wishes of these greedy pigs. This was perhaps the reason for the Telegraph letter.

Meanwhile Tory plans leaked last week revealed that the party is considering new cuts of up to £80 a week for sick and disabled claimants if they win the election.

The leaked documents show that the Conservative party commissioned research into how much could be saved by measures including: Taxing disability living allowance (DLA), personal independence payment (PIP) and attendance allowance (AA), saving a predicted £1.5 billion a year.

In addition abolishing contribution- based ESA and JSA entirely, so that only claimants who pass a means test can claim these benefits would save another £1.3 billion a year.

But according to the BBC, DWP analysis suggests 30 per cent of claimants, over 300,000 families, would lose about £80 per week.

Cutting the number of people getting carer’s allowance by 40 per cent by only awarding it to those eligible for universal credit (UC), would save a predicted £1 billion.

Limiting child benefit to the first two children would eventually save £1 billion but very little in the short-term. Other plans include replacing industrial injuries benefits with an insurance policy for employers, regional benefit caps and changes to council tax. The Tories have denied that these proposals are party policy. But it would seem they are thinking along these lines. How else are they going to be able to be so generous with tax cuts for the fat cats?