England, Wales and Scotland section of International Socialist Alternative

Future Labour government plans to cut benefits, keep funding war

By Lydia Freeman, Socialist Alternative Brighton

‘Benefits will not be an option under a Labour government’ is one of the latest statements from Liz Kendall, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, proving that a Labour government will not have the interests of working-class people in mind. While the rest of us deal with a cost-of-living crisis, the NHS and social care are on their knees, Labour’s plan is to pull the rug out from under people – not least those with disabilities and mental health issues, who rely on the support of benefits to live.

Low pay, poor working conditions and malnutrition are the catalysts for people needing financial support, which is why nearly 40% of people on Universal Credit are in work – it is underemployment and low pay that forces people to claim benefits to survive through the recent cost of living crisis.

A problem caused by capitalism will never be cured by a capitalist ‘solution’. Especially not by a continuation of successive governments prioritising wealth over the lives of the working class. In her announcement, Kendall declared her disbelief that next year, benefits for the people who need them in this country will cost more than the defence budget. Clearly weapons, wars and imperialist power struggles are a higher priority for Labour!

Secure jobs with decent wages and working conditions are the answer to getting people into employment, and those who can’t work need genuinely livable benefits – not just to be attacked as a drain on the system.

Billionaires not paying tax are a much bigger drain on society than those who are unable to work. ‘We value you’ says Kendall, but it looks like this prospective Labour government values wealth more, like the Tories today. We cannot rely on them, we need socialist change now! 

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