Only a fightback will get sunak and the bosses off our backs!

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
28 October 2021

InThe Sun this Sunday Chancellor Rishi Sunak addressed working class voters. He wrote: “Families are feeling the pinch right now... but I’ve got your back in the Budget”...

    More like “I am on your back”! In the article, he even leaked some of Wednesday’s budget before Parliament (much to MPs’ disgust!), had a chance to “scrutinise” it...

    Of course, Sunak is already on workers’ backs. There’s that 1.25% rise in National Insurance Contributions from next April - and that’s before all the rest of the price hikes kick in!

    Nevertheless, his message to Sun readers was that he was doing an “excellent” job! He borrowed huge amounts (the most since WW2) to shower grants and loans on the bosses and pay part (or all) of their pandemic wage bills, thus single-handedly keeping the economy afloat! Never mind that it only stayed afloat because workers went to work, risking catching Covid - and many did catch it and some died!

    No, Sunak poses as hero of the hour, having avoided the mass unrest which might have followed mass unemployment! And now he claims he’ll conjure up thousands of jobs into which newly skilled and highly productive workers will be slotted, thanks to a “£3 billion skills revolution”- the path to the (eventual) higher wage..? Never mind that job creation is down to the capitalists - and right now, they’re cutting jobs and cutting wages too, by offering below-inflation rises, if they offer any at all...

    As for today’s low unemployment level, which Sunak takes credit for, the figures are massaged downwards. What is evident is that wage rises are not going to “ease the pressure on the cost of living (COL)”, which is what Sunak promises.

    Inflation is expected to increase to 5% - at least. But it never reflects the real COL increase. The “living” wage will go up by 6.6%, but at £9.50/hour it will still be £4.50 less than a real living wage. What’s more, the unemployed and low-paid just lost £80/month Universal Credit uplift. This would only put them back at square one - and only if they can work for 40 hrs/w and benefit from that (tiny!) taper cut...

    So then, how to pay 30% more for energy, £15 more per tank of fuel, 8.6% more for rent, higher interest rates, 9% more for food, 5% more for council tax... etc., etc...?

    As for all this righteous talk about the “beloved” NHS, the real issues are precisely, low wages, lousy conditions, overwork and overtime... and Brexit! This is why there are 200,000 vacancies in the NHS and social care. As if a rise in the unlivable “living wage”, or unfreezing teachers’ and police pay will somehow treat more patients or care for more elderly people!

    Reformists accuse the Tories of not knowing the reality of working class life. But whether they do or not, isn't the issue: their job is to help the bosses increase profits. And that profit has to be screwed out of the only producers of real value in this society: the working class. This is Sunak’s “levelling up” - and it’s for the bosses and bankers! The only way to stop the real fall in living standards by levelling up pay, is for public and private sector workers to unite and fight... in full force. There is no other choice.