UK Chancellor Philip Hammond today delivered his Budget and made clear austerity remains the centrepiece of Tory economic policy despite dismal growth rates which were again downgraded for 2017-2019 to 1.5% [from 2% forecast in March], 1.4% and 1.3% respectively.
If poverty wages, insecure employment, the chronic shortage of affordable housing and deepening indebtedness are to be ended it will only be mass action by working people that achieves it.
The SNP Scottish Government and Labour Councils need to add to their rhetoric against austerity, poverty pay and public sector cuts with effective political action. They have a pitifully poor record on this score over the past 8 years it must be said. For working people Hammond's Budget represents more of the same misery. That's why the Scottish Socialist Party will continue to campaign for a package of proposals designed to materially advance the lives of ordinary people;
-A £10/hour living wage to end poverty pay and boost consumer spending,-Replace the Council tax with an income based alternative lifting the burden of payment off the shoulders of those least able to pay,
-Introduce free public transport to combat climate change and give people a more attractive alternative to their cars,
-Return our railways to public hands,
-Return our energy industry to public hands to end the scourge of fuel poverty once and for all
-Provide free access to the internet for all under 25,
-Provide residential elderly care free [to add to Scotland's free personal care]
-Implement a massive programme of publicly owned affordable house building for rent
To be paid for in part by closing down the tax havens protected by UK law exposed by the Paradise Papers to ensure the wealthy can no longer escape their obligations to society. And by cancelling the £100bn due to be spent on a second generation of Trident nuclear missiles stationed on the Clyde.