We reject these cuts as simply malicious ideological vandalism, hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. Join us in the fight
It is time to organise a broad movement of active resistance to the Con-Dem government’s budget intentions. They plan the most savage spending cuts since the 1930s, which will wreck the lives of millions by devastating our jobs, pay, pensions, NHS, education, transport, postal and other services.
The government claims the cuts are unavoidable because the welfare state has been too generous. This is nonsense. Ordinary people are being forced to pay for the bankers’ profligacy.
The £11bn welfare cuts, rise in VAT to 20%, and 25% reductions across government departments target the most vulnerable – disabled people, single parents, those on housing benefit, black and other ethnic minority communities, students, migrant workers, LGBT people and pensioners.
Women are expected to bear 75% of the burden. The poorest will be hit six times harder than the richest. Internal Treasury documents estimate 1.3 million job losses in public and private sectors.
We reject this malicious vandalism and resolve to campaign for a radical alternative, with the level of determination shown by trade unionists and social movements in Greece and other European countries. Read the rest of this entry »
by Costas Lapavitsas*
The crisis facing the eurozone looks at first sight as German efficiency clashing with Portuguese, Irish, Greek and Spanish sloppiness. But in many respects Germany has performed worse than the “peripheral” countries in the last decade. The largest economy of the eurozone has been marked by slow growth, poor domestic demand, weak investment, high unemployment, and minuscule productivity gains. Read the rest of this entry »
By Costas Douzinas
The Guardian, « Comment is free », Thursday 4 February 2010
Paul Bremer, the first post-war American viceroy, imposed on ravaged Iraq economic policies which the Economist called “a capitalist dream” regime. One is hard pressed to find a better phrase to describe the “stability” plan measures submitted by Greece and approved yesterday by the European Commission. The plan envisages a reduction of the country’s budget deficit from the current 12.7% of gross domestic product to 2.8 % in 2012, and promises immediate 10% cuts in ministerial budgets, a freeze on public sector recruitment, the abolition of various tax allowances and an increase in indirect taxation. As if this was not enough, Socialist prime minister George Papandreou announced on Tuesday, in a dramatic broadcast to the nation, further unprecedented austerity measures, including an immediate increase in fuel tax, an increase in the retirement age and cuts in civil service allowances amounting to 10% of salary for most civil servants and up to 40% for academics. As in Britain, universities are the first to be hit, seen as a secondary luxury despite the much trumpeted “knowledge economy”. Read the rest of this entry »
By Costas Douzinas
Published at: The Guardian, “Comment is free”, Tuesday 27 April 2010
Greece’s surrender to the diktats of the IMF and the EU last Friday was confirmation of a death foretold. Three waves of austerity measures imposed by the government under EU instructions failed to persuade the markets to reduce their extortionate rates. Representatives of the IMF and the EU, like postmodern colonial administrators, are currently in Athens imposing further austerity to accompany the loan. Deep cuts in the public sector, reduction of civil servants’ salaries and pensions of up to 30%, a VAT hike and extensive redundancies had already been accepted by the Papandreou government.
The new demands will decimate the public sector, undermine the national health service, privatise the remaining utilities and extend salary cuts to the private sector, destroying hard won employment rights. No public debate, parliamentary vote or referendum has authorised this wholesale destruction of the post-dictatorship social contract. Read the rest of this entry »