Chancellor George Osborne may be a particularly odious specimen however, it is important to keep in mind that austerity and its effects are not merely the result of one nasty man, nor even one nasty party. Austerity is the mechanism used to concentrate wealth back into the upper echelons of society. A clawing back of the social democratic reforms of the welfare state. It is in essence; class war.
As representatives of monopoly capital we can hardly expect the Tory Party to do anything but increase taxes for the common people whilst giving multi-national corporations and the money-men behind them further tax breaks. Make no mistake this is despicable as it concentrates class divisions, increases poverty, deprives the disabled and removes and reduces essential public services. Whilst at the same time the wealth of the already very wealthy few.
This can be dressed in all the faux-progressive, seemingly well-intentioned waffle Osborne needs to dress the budget in to make in appear more palatable to voters, such as the ‘sugar tax’, but at the end of the day a budget such as this is simply a method of shifting the balance further in favour of vastly wealthy capitalists.
It has been good to see the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn attack Osborne’s budget in the House of Commons, although no-doubt there are those in the Parliamentary Labour Party who would seek to implement similar policies and many more who would go along with policies should the leadership have a different stance, despite the grassroots at the foot of the Labour Party having shown itself to be opposed to austerity. It is also important to remember that Britain’s membership of the EU puts the British Government under certain obligations to cut public spending and reduce the deficit. Which is a factor that would affect future budgets of any government in power that remained within the EU – even if they wished to fight austerity.
The first immediate goal of a socialist Britain would be to halt and reverse austerity and to begin reinstating public services and placing them under public ownership. Neither of which could be done within the EU or with any of the representatives of the capitalist class, be they members of the Conservative Party or the Parliamentary Labour Party.
This means we must support Corbyn’s vulnerable parliamentary leadership whilst at the same time spreading our class line on the European Union and above all continuing to ensure we build our movement and class consciousness.
No to the budget! No to the Capitalist Class! We need public ownership now!
– Young Communist League Executive Committee, 16th March 2016