Make the rich pay!

Submitted by martin on 2 November, 2010 - 5:26 Author: Editorial

Benefit cuts over the next 4 years: £18 billion
Cuts in education and local services: £16 billion
Bank profits for this year alone: £28 billion.

Even bigger sums than those the Tory/Lib-Dem coalition say "must" be cut from benefits and services for the worst off are being pocketed as increased profits, top salaries, and bonuses by the ultra-rich.

Between now and 2014-5, the government plans to cut £18 billion from benefits, £16 billion from education and local services, and another £30-odd billion from other sectors. The total cuts in spending come to £81 billion if you include £10 billion which the government says it will save on interest on government debt by making the other cuts.

Huge sums, with a huge impact. The personnel managers' group CIPD estimates that the cuts will chop 725,000 jobs in the public sector and 900,000 in the private sector. Millions who don't lose their jobs will suffer through losing benefits and services. Everyone loses from society becoming meaner, harsher, more cruel, and more unequal.

Yet this year alone Britain's biggest five banks expect profits of £28 billion. In August they reported half-year profits totalling £15 billion.

Other high-finance firms - investment banks, hedge funds, and so on - will also make billions in profits. They will all pay out billions in bonuses.

They can do that only because the Government mobilised £1100 billion in cash, credit, and guarantees to help them out when they would otherwise have gone bust, at the height of the financial crisis in late 2008.

Now the government says that the hard-pressed and the worse-off must suffer in order to reduce the government budget deficit built up in the crisis - while the ultra-rich enjoy the greed-crazed money-making which triggered the crisis in the first place.

Non-financial capitalists are prospering, too. At the end of 2007, just before the crisis hit, profit rates for UK non-financial corporations were the highest they'd been since current statistics started in 1965. They went down surprisingly little in 2008 and 2009, and are still higher than at any time (bar two exceptional years) between 1965 and 1994.

Top-100 company directors saw their total earnings increased by fully 55% over the past year.

In April 2010, the Sunday Times reported that its Rich List of the one thousand wealthiest people in Britain had seen their total wealth increase by £77 billion over the single year 2009. That's more than the total of the Government cuts, excluding the calculated interest-payment saving.

Make the rich pay! Fight for a workers' government that will take the whole of high finance into public ownership, and run it under democratic control as a public service geared to social welfare, not plutocrats' profits!

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