Sunday, 12 July 2015

Osborne has done Labour a favour

Of course, as Chris Leslie said in the Commons, this week`s budget was "entirely concerned with chasing headlines" to support the chancellor`s personal ambitions (Morning Star,10/07/15). In fact, Osborne has done the Labour party a massive favour. Although he was attempting to finish off what the election result had started by stealing ideas from Labour`s manifesto, Osborne may well have seriously miscalculated; he has illustrated beyond doubt that Labour should never try to out-Tory the Tories on business, as his proposal to have corporation tax levels 22% points lower than those in the US has shown. His attempts to woo the "working people of Britain" are already being  revealed by the Institute of Fiscal Studies to be misleading and little more than electoral posturing. Resolution Foundation`s revelation that, with cuts to tax credits, the real living wage needs to be above £11 an hour, and higher, when inflation is taken into consideration, by 2020, needs to be shouted by Labour from the rooftops. Failing to attack Tory mythology led to the last election defeat, so all four leadership candidates should know exactly what is immediately needed.
      Labour should also be clearer, now, about where to target their policies; research showing women being hit more than twice as hard as men by the budget makes the female vote an obvious target, as long as no idiotic pink buses are involved, while the removal of the maintenance grant, withdrawal of housing benefit from 18 to 21 year olds, and exemption from the so-called "new living wage" for under 25s should alert Labour to the electoral potential thereby provided, especially when private landlords inevitably retaliate to Osborne`s changes with rent increases. With public sector workers facing more job cuts and decreasing real wages, and the government`s attack on six million trade unionists yet to start, Corbyn should not be the only leadership contender supporting forthcoming industrial action!
        The Tories` timing of this "emergency budget", so-called presumably to ensure floating voters have time to  forget about the cuts in time for the 2020 election, was also intended to use the forthcoming summer recess to their advantage, but Labour must not allow the details of this duplicitous budget to be forgotten, and continue the offensive against it until long after the next leader is chosen.

      Labour will never be sufficiently pro-business to win over most wavering Tories, but the race to win the "fairness vote" is theirs for the taking!

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