Yes, it is time to present them with the bill!

14 January 2008

Brown announced it would be a "dangerous year" for the British economy, referring to the so-called credit crunch. For workers, things have been precarious for some time already. But they look to get a lot worse: the new year started with a raft of price increases - 12-27% for energy bills, up to 15% for rail fares and season tickets, 15-25% for some foods like dairy products. On top of the on-going rise in petrol prices at the pump.

Housing costs - rents or mortgages - will carry on increasing as well, regardless of the fact that the property bubble is starting to deflate (or even because of it). Loans and remortgaging will be less and less an option for those who find themselves in trouble - due to high interest rates and stricter borrowing conditions. In fact, because of the "credit crunch" - which is due to the capitalists' failure to keep speculation under control in their profit-driven system - it is becoming increasingly expensive to be poor! Isn't this the symptom of a system gone mad?

Meanwhile, the government actually makes money out of the price rises! VAT being proportional to prices, this brings in more money when prices increase. Especially petrol tax, which represents more than 65p out of every £1 we pay.

But worse, Brown blames workers' wage rises for inflation - and uses this as the excuse to continue the 2% public sector wage freeze - which has even led to the threat of a police strike, the first since the 1920s!

As if the miserly 2% wage increase that most workers get in a year could be responsible for inflation! Don't company profits and share prices increase by 15% - if not 30% - a year? And why is that, if not because the bosses step up exploitation to squeeze more profits out of workers and boost prices to squeeze more money out of consumers? If anyone is responsible for inflation, it is Brown's big business friends in the City!

Not everyone will have to stick to the pay limit, though. MPs will be voting on their 10% increase (over 3 years). They "only" get a basic salary of £60,675 plus allowances for nearly everything, adding another £60,000-£100,000! Why should workers fund any rise for them when they would like to force us to tighten our belts?

No, we should instead present them, and the company bosses who they protect, with the bill for all our losses. That way we would make sure that for Brown and the bosses, it will indeed be a dangerous year, but that our year is safe, for once!