Following the Government’s Autumn Statement on Thursday 17 November there will be local activities organised by the Peoples Assembly on Saturday 19 November.
There is a concerted effort in the Tory press and beyond to prettify the latest Autumn Statement from George Osborne. There have even been ridiculous claims that it represented ‘An end to austerity’. At the same time the Tories have attempted to seize the political initiative by immediately switching the political agenda to bombing Syria.
The article below, by Michael Burke, demolishes the myth that austerity is over. In fact there is a renewed austerity offensive. The article first appeared on Socialist Economic Bulletin here.
By Bridget Robertson
Rising energy bills mean that a quarter of the population of Britain now has to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on energy, at the same time as energy company profits have increased by 77 per cent in one year alone.
This has meant thousands of households are being forced to choose between heating and eating as the Tory assault on living standards takes its toll. However, for the vulnerable the consequences are even more serious. Last winter 31 000 people died prematurely, with around a third of those deaths attributable to living in a cold home.
By Nicky Dempsey
There is very little attempt to disguise the class interests served by George Osborne’s latest Autumn statement.
The government claims that its overriding aim is to reduce the public deficit yet corporation tax is to be cut once again, now down to 21 per cent. Altogether the statement includes £5.7 billion in tax cuts and giveaways to the corporate sector over the next several years. At the same time a series of partial freezes on welfare entitlements and tax thresholds, holding them to one per cent increases – which is below the rate of inflation, show that the burden of the crisis continues to paid for by workers and the poor.