Where Are Resources to Come
Voices have been preparing the ground for the budget
from both trade union leaders and business leaders warning the Chancellor of
the dangers in "overheating" the economy if 1p is taken off the
standard rate of income tax. At the same time, the media has been floating the
story of a rift between Gordon Brown and the Prime Minister on this question.
Tony Blair is said to be against such a cut in income tax until further
resources have been poured in to health and education. Propaganda has been done
that public opinion is in favour of even raising income tax if more funding is
provided for the NHS.
Thus lines have been drawn to the effect that the Chancellor
would like to cut tax in his budget, but will take heed of what all sides of
public opinion are saying. At the same time, if he does cut the basic rate of
income tax, it will be presented as a welcome surprise for the people, or from
other sections of the bourgeoisie that Gordon Brown is indulging in a give-away
Budget in preparation for the next General Election.
In fact, drawing up the argument in this way diverts
attention from the well-documented fact that the people are paying more to the
state treasury in a combination of direct and indirect taxes than when Labour
came to power. The focus is made on taxation, both of individuals and of
corporations, as the source of the revenue for social programmes.
Whatever the Chancellor does as a ploy in lowering, not
lowering or raising the level of tax for individuals and companies, the
government is handing over money to the rich directly on a continuous basis. It
is the rich who are always given the prior claim on the states resources,
and certainly will have a prior claim on Gordon Browns "war
chest". With the development of public-private partnership and PFI,
increasingly also the "funding" of social programmes is directly of
benefit to the monopolies, and while the government is giving the impression
that it is so concerned about where the resources for health, education and
other social programmes is to be found, the situation becomes increasingly
strained for all these social programmes.
Other voices from, for example, the Conservative Party have
been heard saying that "new sources of funding must be found",
without specifying what these could be.
Indeed, resources can and should be found for investments in
social programmes. First and foremost, if the government were to stop their
programme of paying the rich in every conceivable way, declared a moratorium on
paying interest on government debt and of repayment of the debt, then resources
for investments in social programmes could be found. If the government were to
ensure that more is put into the economy through such social programmes and
measures taken against taking money out of the economy through the parasitism
of finance capital and through maximum capitalist profit finding its way into
the pockets of the rich, then it could make a change in the direction of the
economy and begin to ensure its health.
The Budget is taking place while there is much anger and
uncertainty about the future of the car industry in Britain and at the same
time increasing concern about the cut-backs in health, education, housing and
other social programmes. The Budget will show that the government has no
concern about this direction of the economy, and that it is intensifying the
anti-social offensive, and that, while the economy will be said to be in good
shape, that the government is doing the best that it can about the threats to
livelihoods and peoples well-being, but ultimately such things are out of
The working class and people must demand that their claims
on society be met. There every reason why the rich should be denied their prior
claim. In this way, resources for social programmes can be found. This will
make a stand against the prevailing view that the people are a drain on
societys resources rather than its greatest resource.