24/10/2010 - National Executive condemns Osborne’s spending cuts

THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE of Solidarity Trade Union has condemned the £81bn package of spending cuts announced by Con-Dem Chancellor of the Exchequer,
George Osborne.

In later articles we will comment on the specific cuts as and when they happen.

However, we feel that these cuts – announced on ‘Axe Wednesday’ (20/10/2010) – represent an attack on the most vulnerable people in Britain.  The elderly, weak, young, unemployed and others will find themselves worse off than ever before.

The situation will be made even worse with nearly half a million public sector workers (who provide key services) loosing their jobs.

Solidarity cannot understand why Osborne has targeted the public sector in such a way.  After all, it was the private sector – the banks and the speculators – that got us into this mess in the first place.  We feel that sorting out the whole banking system is the key to the problem.

STU General Secretary, Pat Harrington, said:

“On a national level, we will be opposing the cuts.  In fact, once again, we’re calling for a broad front campaign to fight the cuts.  We first mentioned this a year ago.  As well as the trade union movement, we need to involve all political parties, community groups, the churches and any other interested groups or individuals.

On a local level, we will be providing advice and defending our members who find their livelihoods under threat.

However, we have a gut feeling that the problems we face lie much deeper than the recent ‘credit crunch’.  Britain is supposed to be the sixth richest country in the world, yet it seems to have to endure endless cycles of boom and bust.  We need to find out why.  And we need to examine why we have poverty in the midst of plenty.” 

Mr. Harrington noted that Solidarity has already announced its intention to examine any and all ideas relating to the banking system. As well as this, we will also be looking into practical alternatives to the banks.

Returning the question of the scale and scope of the cuts, he said:

“On a personal level, I would also query why foreign aid has been increased by 37 per cent and ring-fenced.  Many folks would say that, in these difficult circumstances, we should live by the concept that ‘Charity Begins at Home’.  At the very least there needs to be some sort of national debate on this subject.

I’d also like to know how much it is costing for Britain to maintain a military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Let’s put aside the fact that, to my mind, these were immoral, illegal, and imperialist wars.  What is the cost – in pounds and pence on a daily basis – of Britain’s subservience to the US military industrial complex war-machine?”