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New Communist Party of Britain

adopted December 2015

Wages: the fight back

Higher wages and the struggle to achieve this is central to the improvement of living standards and ensuring that workers have the money to buy back the goods and services that they produce and provide. But once a wage increase has been won it is quickly eroded in a variety of ways, either directly or by stealth, such as increases in the cost of living through inflation, increasing cost of energy, transport, private and social rents, increases in pension contributions, paying to use the health service or education, VAT increases and tax rises or by the state increasing the retirement age. Winning a wage increase under capitalism only gives temporary respite and can be taken back at any time.

The measures and ploys that the ruling class use to erode wages are purely to defend their own self‑interest. But those same measures ensure that crises occur more frequently and tend to be more severe each time. It is this contradiction that must be exposed during the fight to defend and increase wages, pensions, jobs, work‑life balance other social activities.

Complete social justice can never be possible under capitalism; we are not all in it together or have a stake in ensuring that capitalism survives or that workers benefit from some trickle‑down effect. All that workers get from the capitalist table is the crumbs, so while capitalism survives there will always be a fight to increase and defend the share that workers get from capitalism. But in the long term the only way to ensure that this share is maintained and improved, and not to have to defend it time and time again, is by fighting for working class state power, the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Contrary to what is portrayed by the ruling class and their political representatives, we are not all in it together; it is either us or them; the workers or the bosses. The alternative to working class state power is a festering morass of exploitation (of workers and the environment), racial and communal strife, rapid growth in crime, drug trafficking, violence and conflict from local to international levels. The capitalists must not be allowed to destroy society; it is they who must be supplanted.

Our Party is opposed to all variants of the Alternative Economic Strategy (AES). European Left parties, our Labour Party, the Communist Party of Britain and other left social democrats advocate various forms of the reformist strategy that aims to run capitalism better rather than having confidence in the working class to take state power. AES weakens revolutionary consciousness by confusing working people and limiting their demands. Tinkering with a system based upon greed and exploitation will achieve nothing because the crisis can only be solved by full public ownership of the means of production, all land, and with a planned economy. There is no substitute for revolutionary struggle.

Until such time as socialism replaces capitalism, there needs to be a continuous political struggle to defend and improve social services and benefits. In tandem with this struggle there must be a collective industrial struggle for better wages and working conditions that takes on the capitalist class head on.

The New Communist Party says that wage claims should be:

The New Communist Party is opposed to ‑

The fight for higher wages should be linked to: