The ruling class is attacking public services to destroy the trade unions – that’s what the Comprehensive Spending Review is about. Cutting 500,000 public service jobs will also destroy 425,000 private sector jobs. Its public sector pay freeze will drive down wages in the private sector. Real average take-home pay is already down by 3.4 per cent since December.
Yet it can find the money to bail out bankers, fight aggressive wars, aid foreign tyrants (most foreign aid goes to the Afghan and Iraqi governments), and fund the European Union. It tells us the debt is so bad we must all suffer to pay it off, while forcing students into lifelong debt by tripling tuition fees. We are to pay off ruling class debts so that they can continue to rifle the country’s wealth, wealth created by workers.
The government talks of the need to spend on infrastructure “to support economic growth”, yet it will cut public sector net spending by 48 per cent by 2014-15, cutting its spending on capital projects by £30 billion a year in the next four years. As the Financial Times noted, “capital budgets are hit harder than almost anything else”. This is killing industry.
Labour talks against the cuts as “unfair” and “too fast”, as if more equal pain and slower implementation would be fine. Had it won the election, it intended to impose cuts, halve the deficit in four years, and, just like the government, cut capital investment by £30 billion a year.
Thatcher said, “There is no such thing as society.” Cameron and Clegg intend to fulfil her wishes by dismantling the structures which make society possible.
This, quite simply, is the price of living with capitalism. Do we want to pay that price?