November 17, 2022 at 4:34 pm #236350
In his statement today the chancellor has stolen all Labour’s clothes. Nearly everybody will be worse off but the less well off will suffer less. What more could Labour have done? Even Don’t Pay may be happy.
“Dividend allowances will be cut.
The annual exempt allowance for capital gains tax will also be cut.
The threshold for the 45p additional rate of tax will be cut from £150,000 to £125,140.
Windfall taxes will raise £14bn, including a new temporary 45% levy on electricity producers.
The government’s energy price guarantee will be kept for a further 12 months at an average of £3,000 for a typical household, up from £2,500 at present.
New one-off payments of £900 to households on means-tested benefits, £300 to pensioner households, and £150 for individuals on disability benefit.
There will be an additional £1bn funding to enable further extension to household support fund.
Social housing rents will be capped at 7% next year, to avoid rent hikes of up to 11%.
The “national living wage” will rise by 9.7% next year to £10.42 an hour.
Benefits will rise in line with September’s inflation rate, by 10.1%, costing the government £11bn.
The benefit cap will be increased with inflation next year.
The pensions triple lock will be kept.”November 18, 2022 at 5:50 pm #236434
Labour’s response has not been to criticise the proposed changes as it’s what they would have done. Instead they are arguing that the present situation, where people’s real living standards are falling and are expected to fall more, is the result of Tory mismanagement of the economy over the past 12 years. They would say that of course but it assumes that if there had been a different government or a different policy this wouldn’t have happened. Does anyone believe that? Do they believe it?
It’s the old illusion that governments can control the way capitalism works, when experience after experience as well as theory shows this not to be the case. It’s not the Tories who are to blame but the capitalist system. As the Labourites will find out if they win the next general election in 2024.
As the title of one of our leaflets says, The problem is not the Tories, it’s capitalism. A new version may have to be prepared for after 2024 headed: The problem is not Labour, it’s capitalism.November 19, 2022 at 1:36 am #236442alanjjohnstoneKeymaster
Starmer has said he accepts that there is a £55bn gap in the public finances, a figure provided by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). He did not dispute the OBR’s calculations.November 19, 2022 at 12:15 pm #236460
It looks as if a future Labour government is heading for a head-on clash with the unions who still think that a government has an alternative to giving priority to profits over wages and that the resulting austerity is just a political choice rather thn a capitalist ecoomic necessity.
PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said:
“These cuts aren’t inevitable or a necessity, this rotten government is making a political choice that makes you and your family worse off.”
Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said:
“As for the Labour Party, they appear to have accepted the economic premise of the black hole rather than challenge it. That is a mistake.”
“As a country, we must now begin a discussion on how to do things differently. We need different rules and to make different choices. We need an economy that works for all.”
These union leaders may be good negotiators over wages and working conditions, but when it comes to politics and economics they are null. If Graham ever became prime minister and tried to make the capitalist economy “work for all” she’d last an even shorter time than Truss.
Instead of demanding that the government try to make capitalism work in a way it just can’t, like “for all”, why don’t they realise that it can’t — the first step to coming to undetstand that socialism is the only way out.
If they can’t or won’t do that, they should stick just to negotiating better (or less worse) wages and working conditions and not pronouncing on politics or economics. That way they won’t sow illusions (or maintain the Labour Party’s illusions of yesteryear) amongst workers.November 24, 2022 at 9:40 am #236777
I see that some Tory MPs too think that it was a Labour budget, only of course they absurdly brand it as “socialist”:
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