According to prime minister David Cameron, “we are all in this together”. The 30,000 public sector workers that are due to lose their jobs as a result of the £6.2 billion cuts that have already been announced must feel sorry for Osborne as he struggles with only £4 million to his name.
The Independent has predicted that the Con-Dem cuts in jobs and public services, administered by a cabinet that contains 18 millionaires, could lead to one million public sector workers losing their jobs, adding to the 2.5 million people already unemployed.
These workers are likely to face attacks on unemployment benefits, even though maximum Jobseeker’s Allowance is currently only £65.45 a week. People in work could also see their benefits cut with means-testing being introduced to child benefit along with tax credits being reduced.
The remaining public sector workers will not miss the axe either as the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg (estimated wealth £1.9 million) has said that these workers’ pensions are unaffordable. While we are told that these are “gold-plated” pensions, the truth is that most public sector pensions are below £5,000 a year.
Cameron is considering sharing some of the pain with us though. However, he is yet to decide whether he will give up the prime minister’s £66,451 a year pension entitlement. This will be a tough choice for him as he and his family only have, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, a £38 million fortune to fall back on.
The Con-Dem government’s planned destruction of jobs, public services and the welfare state does not have to happen though. For a start, an estimated £100 billion goes uncollected in taxes every year, mainly due to tax avoidance by the rich. This makes up almost two-thirds of the ‘deficit’ that Osborne wants working, unemployed and young people to pay for.
The Socialist Party is organising and participating in protests on and around budget day. Local anti-cuts, anti-privatisation committees can bring together trade unionists, workers, unemployed and young people to organise meetings and protests, and support industrial action, as part of a national movement for jobs, homes and public services.
The Con-Dem government says:
Make the poor pay for the bankers’ bailouts
Destroy public services
Cut public sector jobs
Cut public sector pensions
The Socialist Party says:
Make the rich pay!
Create employment through socially useful jobs
Stop the attacks on benefits
Open the top companies’ books – let’s see where the money is going
For a national trade union-led demonstration against cuts
For a one-day public sector strike
For public ownership of the major companies under democratic control