Communists: “It’s not about the deficit”
‘The coalition government’s strategy aims to increase corporate profits and enrich the rich still further – it is not primarily about the deficit or the National Debt’, Communist Party general secretary Robert Griffiths told the party’s political committee on Wednesday evening [03/12/14].
He was speaking immediately after Chancellor George Osborne delivered his Autumn Statement in the House of Commons.
Osborne announced further cuts in government spending on welfare benefits, public sector pay and pensions, local government and on other social programmes while handing more money to businesses in tax and rates relief.
‘Yet while the Tories and their LibDem helpers again fall short of their deficit reduction targets and the National Debt continues to grow, there is no negative reaction in the bond or currency markets’, Mr Griffiths declared.
‘That’s because the City is satisfied that the coalition is delivering on its real agenda of privatisation, tax cuts for the rich and big business and a flexible labour market which drives down pay, employment terms and conditions and trade unionism’, he said.
The CP leader accused the Chancellor and the ‘monopoly mass media’ of perpetrating a ‘gigantic fraud’ on the working class and peoples of Britain.
‘There has been no economic recovery as far as output per head of population is concerned’, Mr Griffiths argued. He explained that while Britain’s GDP has now returned to pre-recession levels, it’s taking an extra 3.5 million people to produce it.
‘GDP per head is still 3.4 per cent lower than in early 2008’, he pointed out, ‘while working class living standards have been slashed for the benefit of corporate fat cat executives and shareholders’.
Although Britain’s communists welcomed the transfer of more tax powers to the Scottish parliament and government, in line with the recommendations of the Smith Commission, they oppose any devolution of corporation tax and employment law including the national minimum wage.
‘We want to see the Scottish and Welsh legislatures using new powers to challenge big business control of the economy, led by a united labour movement – not to lower wages and boost profits in a race to the bottom’, CP international secretary John Foster insisted.
The Communist Party reiterated its demands for a substantial increase in wages, pensions and benefits across Britain, selective price controls, a Wealth Tax on the rich, higher taxation of big business profits, the closure of overseas tax havens under British control, a massive council house building programme and nationalisation of the energy, transport, banking, armaments and pharmaceutical industries.