Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

3 February 2021

Facebook   Twitter

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

TUSC conference

A TUSC meeting in Southampton in 2018

A TUSC meeting in Southampton in 2018   (Click to enlarge)

Launching a political alternative to cuts, poverty and job losses

Nick Chaffey, Socialist Party national committee

Councils are facing a new, Covid-driven cash crisis - a financial 'black hole' of up to 2.2 billion, along with an average 5% increase in council tax and other increased service charges.

Working-class communities, hard hit by more than a decade of austerity, are now facing additional cuts that threaten a 1930s-style nightmare of mass poverty.

It's vital that mass resistance is urgently mobilised to cuts, demanding full government funding to local councils. A clear socialist alternative to the Tories' Covid-accelerated capitalist crisis is needed, which can force an immediate U-turn on Johnson's weak and divided government.

Under the pandemic, council income has fallen while demand for services has risen. The Tories have failed to meet these costs, despite the 280 billion extra borrowing that has provided a huge corporate bailout for the super-rich. Clearly we are not 'all in it together'.

This funding crisis comes on top of a decade of austerity, where local councils have experienced 40% cuts - often, treacherously, carried out by right-wing Labour councils.

Working-class communities have also been hit by severe pay cuts under furlough and a sharp rise in unemployment. Consequently, Universal Credit claims have increased to six million and are rising.

Some schools have reported a sharp rise in demand for free school meals over the last three months; with families forced to turn to insufficient food banks. Many households are now officially destitute, unable to feed themselves and their families.

Even feeble opposition leader Keir Starmer has been forced to criticise the 5% increase in council tax, but more through fear of the political consequences facing Labour candidates in the May elections than any desire to fight back in defence of working-class communities.

With council budgets due to be set, Labour councillors should refuse to carry out any further cuts, and instead set emergency 'no-cuts, needs budgets', providing immediate support to hard-hit families.

Alongside dealing with the immediate impact of Covid, needs budgets could restore funding to vital youth services and provide proper support for the elderly and vulnerable. Councils should also launch a mass house-building programme, creating jobs and apprenticeships, like the 5,000 new homes socialist Liverpool council built in the mid-1980s, led by Militant (Socialist Party).

Building a mass campaign with council trade unions and local communities, along with using council reserves and borrowing powers to support their needs budgets, Starmer should demand immediate funding from Johnson and commit an incoming Labour government to restore council funding.

But throughout this crisis he has failed to seriously oppose Johnson or offer any real alternative. His shameful collaborationist policy of 'national unity' - alongside a majority of trade union leaders who have absented themselves from any working-class struggle - offers nothing to those looking to resist cuts.

The Socialist Party opposes all cuts to council jobs and services. We will challenge all those councils agreeing cuts budgets, and stand alongside others fighting back in the May elections as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. Join us in that fightback today.

TUSC 2021 local elections conference on Zoom

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 3 February 2021:

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Launching a political alternative to cuts, poverty and job losses

Why I am attending the TUSC local elections online conference

South Yorks TUSC ready for electoral fight

What we think

Workers' rights and safety: Trade union mobilisation could force more Tory U-turns


Socialist Students open letter to Rent Strike network

Children in care: Privatisation is not working

Multimillion-pound rental firm demands thousands from homeless asylum seeker

Covid outbreak at Kent asylum detention centre: Napier is not fit for purpose

New anti-protest law: State forces want more power to crush the protests that are coming

Workplace news

Usdaw conference stripped of democracy by leadership

Usdaw Broad Left rally brings together those campaigning for a fighting union

Strong union lead needed to stop DVLA Covid spread

HMRC: We demand a pay rise without cuts to terms and conditions

Workers fight British Gas 'fire-and-rehire' plans

Vote Steve Hedley for RMT general secretary

The NEU's 'big announcement' - lessons need to be learned

Yorkshire aerospace workers strike against pay disparity

Workplace news in brief

The Communist Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto - A guide to understanding society, and how to change it


1971: Rolls-Royce crisis - when the Tories nationalised in order to secure the interests of British capitalism

Readers' opinion

GameStop: Billionaires hurt at their own game

The Socialist Inbox

International news

Covid 'vaccine wars' underline failure of capitalist nation states to deal with the global pandemic

Campaigns news

New members meeting in the South West - preparing for the battles to come

Why I rejoined the Socialist Party

Help us raise the funds to fuel the working-class fightback

Save our square: we need social housing and public services

Stop Labour council's eviction of Stratford Circus arts centre


Home   |   The Socialist 3 February 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleEaling parking wardens strike against Serco over absence policy

triangleTUSC is back

triangleScotland: Pro-independence majority in highly polarised election

triangleWelsh Labour holds on to government but new crises loom

triangleBellway must pay! Make our homes safe!


triangleRMT: Militant industrial and political strategy must be fought for

triangleCan the 'Preston model' beat the cuts?

triangleFight the rotten establishment

triangleWhat councils can do to protect the environment


trianglePoverty increasing. Welfare state in crisis. Do we need a new Beveridge Report?

triangle1981 Brixton riots: Racism and poverty - the anger explodes

triangleWould a wealth tax end poverty and inequality?


triangleHartlepool sums up Labour crisis

triangleThe Socialist Inbox


triangleNorwich City Council workers vote for strike action over broken promises on pay and conditions


triangleSocialist Party national meeting: Perspectives for socialism after the elections


triangleUnited action needed to defeat fire and rehire

Article dated 3 February 2021

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party


Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales


Bulk book orders

New member submission


triangle13 May Socialist Party Scotland: What is socialism and why should you fight for it

triangle13 May Waltham Forest Socialist Party: What next in the fight against Covid austerity?

triangle13 May Sheffield Socialist Party: Onward from the elections - continue the fight for socialism


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

Election analysis


International news

Workplace news

Readers' opinion


Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1133 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files

TUSC 2021 election video

More videos ...

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version