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Dumb and dumber – Labour and Tories on cuts

osbournejpgThe depressing NuLab conference promised cuts in public services and sought to ensure those with little paid for the bankers’ crisis. Now the Tories are bidding to show that they will make ordinary workers pay an even higher price.

Shadow chancellor George Osborne made a conference speech focused on public spending cuts, including a one-year freeze on the majority of public-sector workers. Under his plans, only the one million earning under £18,000 would get a rise. This savage Tory plan goes beyond even Chancellor Alistair Darling’s call for a salary freeze for the 750,000 highest-paid public servants.

Osborne also confirmed Tory plans to raise the state retirement age for men from 65 to 66 in 2016, rather than 2026 as new Labour plans. For women, the pension age will be equalised by 2020 (but equalised by moving it up!). Workers are to be forced to work longer and then face an impoverished old age as the final salary schemes have been slowly restricted or abolished.

The endless list of spending cuts will shave a mere £7 billion a year off the record £175bn public deficit caused by the bail-out of the banks. Another £13 billion a year will be saved once the retirement age is raised in 2016.

Britain could, of course, save £100 billion a year just by preventing tax dodging in tax havens which are politically connected to our country [1]. Both Osborne and Brown have expressed the view that tax havens should be eliminated. In his Manchester conference speech Osborne said: “We will also target tax evasion and off-shore tax havens.
Remember we were the first to ask the non doms to make their fair contribution. Everyone must pay their share.”
Earlier this year British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, addressing a joint session of the US Congress and Senate, asked: “How much safer would everybody’s savings be if the whole world finally came together to outlaw shadow banking systems and outlaw offshore tax havens?”

Instead of playing dumb and dumber by proposing more and more cuts in services and trying to squeeze ordinary workers and their families why don’t they follow the money and make the rich pay their fair share? If they don’t do the right thing workers must resist the attacks on their standard of living and quality of life whether it is Labour or the Tories attacking them. Solidarity President Adam Walker said “Spending cuts will not only deepen the recession and keep people out of work. The policy is immoral since the banks and political class got us into this situation in the first place. Whilst some other Trade Unions baulk at criticising a Labour Government we have no such qualms telling it as it really is! Whether it is NuLab or Tory attacking the workers they will meet the same response.”

[1] There are 31 obvious ones. 3 are British Crown Dependencies (Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey).
7 are British Overseas Territories (Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, and Turks & Caicos). 21 are members of the Commonwealth (Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brunei, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, Grenada, Labuan, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Nauru, Seychelles, Singapore, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & Grenadines, UK, Vanuatu)


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