George Osborne’s Autumn Statement: £35bn Cuts So Far – £55bn More To Come

osborneThe £55bn of new cuts planned by Chancellor George Osborne are unprecedented. The Tories cure is grim and it won’t work.

Osborne’s miracle cure is more cuts to services and benefits, frozen wages, low pay and insecurity. It is working for the Tories’ friends in the City and in the boardrooms. They have rich pickings from privatised services and a frightened workforce but the economy will crash again if workers don’t have money to spend.

The NHS Protected?

The health service is one of the areas we are told is protected. But demand is growing and costs rising – not only because of an ageing population but because of the multiple health conditions which we see all around us. The finances of the NHS are in crisis, whether in A&E or in mental health or in the whole of the care system.

The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) which runs mental health services is now being investigated by Monitor, another of those bodies which is supposed to see that things run properly. In spite of cutting some £15m from its budget it is expected to be in deficit by over £4m. Its cuts mean that all adult beds in Carlton Court Hospital will go. NSFT needs more money. Osborne’s plans mean even less.

Does Labour Back Labour?

Labour supports £50bn spent on HS2, it supports more nuclear submarines and Trident missiles, it supports aircraft carriers with no planes that are now being offered as taxis for the US air force. It too will make ”difficult choices” and cut more. A reverse of the cut to the top rate of income tax and a mansion tax are drops in the ocean. For Labour to trail behind the smirking Tories is foolish. Inequality is now back to where it was before the First World War. We need to organise better, we need to be strong and united. We also need a government that will back us. An election campaign is not about marketing. It is about fighting back and being determined to change things.

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