In the next four years, the Coalition government plans to cut £18 billion from benefits and £16 billion from education and other local services. The Tories and Lib Dems say this is unavoidable.
Yet in 2009-10 the richest thousand individuals increased their wealth by £77 billion. Bank profits were £15.5 billion for the first half of 2010, so probably about £30 billion for the full year. The loot is much bigger than the cuts. Maybe £7 billion will be paid out in bonuses.
The government’s minimal — essentially cosmetic — bank levy will raise just £2.5 billion a year. After a period of “talking tough” they have now told the banks they are free to pay whatever bonuses they like.
These figures show how ridiculous it is when the Labour leadership claims that some cuts — less harsh ones — are necessary. Why should we accept any cuts to our jobs or services when the bosses are raking it in, and the bankers are splashing around wealth like confetti?
Seize the huge wealth of the banks to pay for what we need, and enable rational, democratic control of big investment decisions, currently dependent on the bankers’ profit priorities! We should fight for a workers’ government that will take the banks and financial system into public ownership and use their huge resources for social goals.