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Socialist measures against the capitalist crisis

WITH BRITAIN predicted to go back into recession next year, and with a new credit crunch and the collapse of the Eurozone looming, what’s the answer to a capitalist system in crisis?

The TUC is calling for alternative policies – on 25 October general secretary Brendan Barber called for fairer taxes, closing tax loopholes, investing in green jobs and infrastructure and a living wage.

That’s fine as far as it goes – which is nowhere near far or fast enough. None of that will stop the jobs massacre or prevent the banks from cutting off funds in the coming crunch. Nor does the TUC oppose all the cuts: instead Barber called for “a more realistic 10 year plan” for “reducing the deficit”instead of the Tories’ four year plan. That weans the same amount of cuts spread out over longer, not opposition to cuts.

But we didn’t cause this crisis so we shouldn’t pay for it – not over four years, 10 years or even for five minutes. Because it is a lie to say there’s no alternative to deficit reduction through cuts.

Instead every country could simply cancel its debt to the billionaire bondholders – we could obliterate the deficit overnight if we tax the rich, seize corporate and banking profits and scrap armaments programmes. And we could stop the banks paying themselves massive bonuses and cutting off ‘unprofitable’ investment by taking them into state hands, merging hem into a single not-for-profit state investment bank run by the people, and directing investment to where there is human need.

  • Nationalise the banks without compensation under democratic workers’ and consumers’ control
  • Decent pensions for all. A single state owned and guaranteed pension scheme for public and private sector workers
  • End unemployment – cut the hours not the jobs, with no loss of pay
  • Tax the rich to absorb the deficit and fund a huge programme of public works
  • For a sliding scale of wages to keep in line with inflation Cancel the national debt: pay the workers, not the bondholders
  • Cut the wars – troops out of Afghanistan now
  • Fight for the nationalisation of the energy companies under workers control without compensation and draw up a renewable energy plan
  • A democratic plan of production in place of the madness of the market
  • A workers’ government based on delegates elected by assemblies of working class people
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