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Thursday, 6 June 2013

One nation Miliband looks to out Tory the Tories

On 3 June Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls made a speech to his shadow cabinet in which he laid out his intention to fully accept the draconian austerity inaugurated by the Con-Dems. It is clear that Labour has now given up any pretence of being an opposition, buying wholesale into the logic of a neoliberal austerity which forces ordinary people to pay for the gigantic mistakes of the reckless super-rich. One of the most perfidious cuts outlined by Balls in his speech is the means-testing of the winter fuel allowance. But surely the rich should not be given benefits that they 'don't need'? This reaction is understandable, but misguided - universal benefits have an extremely important function in society. We have to resist all attacks on the welfare state - a cut for the better off quickly can become a cut for all. When tens of thousands of elderly people die from the cold every winter, society has a responsibility to contribute to their heating costs. Universality makes sure that the welfare state doesn't simply become minimal 'poor relief'. And at the end of the day, the amount of money saved by means-testing universal benefits is around £100 million - a drop in the ocean compared to the £120 billion which goes avoided, evaded or uncollected in tax in the UK every year. The response of socialists to this most recent in the long line of Labour's shifts to the right must be clear - the majority of working people have no faith that a Labour government would be able to solve the crisis we are in. We need a new mass party of working people, based around the trade unions and community groups, which is able to clearly put the case for a socialist alternative to cuts and crisis. Chaz Lockett Socialist Party news and analysis Food bank Brita There is more today Ed Miliband has come out and stated how labour would be just as tough on benefits if not more so. Ed Miliband has promised to cap spending on benefits as he unveiled his party's new approach to welfare. A future Labour government would introduce a three-year cap on structural spending, including housing benefits, from 2015-6, its leader said. He also said those in work for under five years may not be eligible for some jobless benefits while those who had worked for longer should get more help. In a speech in east London, Mr Miliband announced a series of changes to Labour policy: • A three-year cap on spending on structural benefits - including housing benefit and other non-cyclical costs - will be introduced in 2015-6 • Contribution-based unemployment benefits such as jobseekers allowance (JSA), will be reviewed • Priority will be given to those who have worked and paid tax for longer while eligibility for the top-up contributory JSA may be extended from two to five years in work • Councils will be given power to negotiate rents with landlords to help reduce housing benefits bills • Child benefit for families with one person earning over £50,000 will not be reinstated • More help for disabled people to take up work opportunities The Labour leader said the government's "short-term" approach was failing and history showed that cutting individual benefits alone would not reduce the overall cost of social security. So remind me again what is the point of labour ? We already have a tory party a tory light party is not what ordinary working people are screaming out for. That’s why TUSC will be sticking around to contest elections and offer an alternative to all the pro austerity parties. TUSC say no to all cuts and no to housing evictions from the bedroom tax! To find out more check out www.tusc.org.uk

1 comment:

  1. An interesting post comrade, and the "Point of Labour" is to stand in for the chosen party of capital while the other lot are in trouble and are able to sort themselves out in the interests of the class they represent, yes they are a poor silhouette of the Tories!"

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