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2.5m reasons to fight the coalition

Halfway through its term the Tory-Lib Dem coalition has failed – even by its own standards.

Nick Clegg recently said that the “short, sharp recession is clearly turning into a longer-term process of economic recovery and fiscal restraint”.

See – even Clegg admits the coalition’s economic policy isn’t working.

Sacking half a million workers, £20 billion cuts to the NHS and the tight squeeze on pay, pensions and benefits have all depressed the economy.

But this was Clegg and his puppet-master David Cameron’s intention: make the workers pay for the crisis; destroy job

s while cutting the wages of those in work; break up and privatise health and education services; demonise the disabled, young and unemployed, docking their benefits and putting them to work for the minimum wage – or for free.

Having smuggled their way into Downing Street by lying in their election campaigns, this austerity government is continuing to lie.

Recession deepens

Back in 2010, Chancellor George Osborne promised that his £85 billion cuts package would not put millions on the dole because the private sector would “pick up the slack”.

LIES. Unemployment has risen to 2.5 million, with a million young people under 25 not in education, employment or training. With just 400,000 vacancies, six people are chasing every job.

Nearly all ne

w jobs are part-time, while almost all those destroyed were full-time. The massive rise in “self-employment” masks under-employment and people earning less than the minimum wage. The only age group registering an increase in employment is the over 65s – workers forced to stay on because they can’t afford to retire.

Far from private companies picking up the slack, they are more likely to be cutting jobs and closing workplaces. Britain is in a “double-dip” recession: the longest and deepest for a century.

Ballooning debt

David Cameron and Nick Clegg boasted that they would abolish the budget deficit in just four years, bringing down the state debt.

LIES. This year the government has already spent £67 billion more in the first half of this year than it has received in taxes – a b

igger deficit than in the same period last year. The national debt – what Britain owes in total – officially broke the £1 trillion mark this summer. But if you take into account all the money handed over to the banks in bailouts, the country is in fact £2.3 trillion in debt.

So if the money hasn’t gone on house building, schools or the NHS, where has it gone?

The banks have done well, receiving another £400 billion of our money, “lent” to them on the cheap in the form of “quantitative easing”. The major companies all enjoyed a big tax cut, as did top earners – CEOs and the like.

Of course paying out more in benefits as jobs are axed costs money too. But instead of borrowing to stimulate the economy, the coalition is spending to keep people out of work!

Mind the gap

Which brings us to the t

hird big LIE: that “we’re all in this together”.

While the super-rich are richer than ever – the wealthiest 1,000 Britons saw their fortunes increase by 5 per cent to a record £414 billion – average wages have plummeted in real terms: by between 3 and 7 per cent last year alone.

This inequality is even greater when you consider that the cuts in benefits, the NHS and council services hit poorer families far harder than the rich who don’t rely on them.

Make 20 October huge

The message is clear: this is government by the rich for the rich. Only around 6 per cent of planned cuts have been implemented so far.

Forget Clegg’s fluff about “mansion taxes” and “wealth taxes”. That is only to placate his middle class supporters, not serious policy. The Lib Dems won’t change course – they are too entangled in the austerity measures to jump ship now. They must be booted out along with the Tories.

Last year, 2 million struck against severe cuts to public workers’ pensions. We saw hundreds of thousands of young people mobilised to halt the rise in tuition fees and the abolition of the EMA. Thousands more exposed Britain’s tax dodging corporations, and occupied city centres.

On 20 October we will march again in the TUC’s demo for “A Future That Works”. We must demand that the union leaders follow this up with strike action – coordinated wherever possible and not just for a day, but for as long as it takes to win.

But most of all, we need to propose to all those fighting the cuts and their leaders that we form a new working class party. Not one like Labour, which began the privatisation of our schools and hospitals and now refuses to support strikes or reverse the damage.

But a genuine working class party dedicated to each and every struggle against austerity, determined to make the bosses and bankers pay for their crisis, and committed to building socialism, a society where hunger and want are abolished for good.

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