The current deficit is only 30% of the one we found ourselves with in 1945; yet, we went ahead and created a Welfare State; as well as funding a massive 1 million social housing project.
We could also look to raise revenue by:
• Imposing a Robin Hood Tax on banks;
• Raising tax thresholds on earners over £100,000;
• Pursuing the tax cheats who cost the country anything up to £100 billion a year.
The ConDem’s plans to slash public service/sector budgets by anything up to 40% will lead to anything up to ¾ of a million jobs losses. As many public contracts are won by companies in the private sector we’ll also see massive job losses here as contracts, such as those for schools, are shelved.
The idea that the private sector will somehow take up the slack from this debacle is risible. Manufacturing is on its knees. Look at the markets that would attract our manufactured goods: Europe, an economic basket case; USA, sliding back into recession; China and India, both these powers are looking at a downturn in growth.
If this regime carries out its plans, we’ll slip into a double-dip recession next year. We could then be looking at 4-5 million unemployed. But then, the last time the Tories were in power they were quite happy to allow mass unemployment to seize the country.
Wealthy Tories can afford to take these kinds of hits every so often; they even act as a catharsis. When the corner is turned they’re presented with millions of hungry eager people willing to take on any work under any conditions.
By the time we come to a lull in this recession (they never really end; merely stop to take breath) we’ll have sold off the NHS and most of our social services will be in the voluntary sector. Employees will be increasingly taken on under short-term contracts; the zero-hour contract will be a familiar form of ‘employment’; and, the poverty gap will become a chasm.
We need to open our eyes. The summer of 2010 is the beginning of a new class war. The enemy has positioned itself; it’s fired off a few salvos. If we don’t begin to defend our positions they will roll over us and smash us to pieces.