The Tories’ “race to the top” is a long way off

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1166/33712

Excerpt from The Socialist newspaper, February 9, 2022

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak. Photo: Andrew Parsons, 10 Downing Street/CC (Click to enlarge)

Usemu Makaya Socialist Party of North Birmingham

The Conservative Party announced its promised “leveling up” announcements in the 2019 general election, targeting 12 “development missions” to be achieved by the end of the decade. This program does not meet the needs of the poorest areas, particularly in response to the economic impact of the pandemic.

The new policy does not actually provide any new money, merely rehashing previous announcements. The Tories have cut £15billion from annual central government grants to councils. Municipal budgets have been cut by 60% since the financial crash of 2008.

In the report, the old deprivation measures have disappeared. Instead, the Tories are introducing a new set of criteria, which omit crucial factors such as crime, health and income! The report does not even specifically mention rural areas.

Some of the most prosperous areas – most notoriously Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Richmondshire – are included in the highest priority tier, while many of the most deprived areas are stuck in limbo.

The fine print doesn’t fare much better. There is a £28 per capita gap between Tory-led authorities’ money and that of their Labor counterparts.

One of the only real announcements is for the powers of more regional mayors. The Conservatives say this could better distribute local spending. But that would only make it easier for one person to make unpopular decisions to cut and privatize services, and further commercial interests.

West Bromwich, my hometown, was in the top 30% of areas in England before the pandemic. A major local issue is the risk of violence and exploitation for young people in the borough – in part, this has been attributed to recent unemployment spikes compounded by the inaccessibility of training and a lack of services for the needs of emotional and mental health of young people. The current upgrade policy does not address this issue.


Work is not an alternative

Ross Saunders, Socialist Party of Wales Secretary

Labour’s response to the Conservative ‘upgrade’ plans has to be the least inspiring thing I have ever read. Fight bullshit with bullshit – contentless platitudes about “downtown regeneration” and “antisocial behavior.”

A true socialist would explain that we could only eradicate unemployment, end job insecurity and reindustrialize on a green basis if we nationalized big business and ordered them to carry out a program of job creation.

Financial appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in many ways. It is clear to many that it is the working class that makes society work, not the CEOs of big business.

The results of austerity have been clearly demonstrated as public services struggle to cope with the crisis.

  • Socialist Party hardware is more vital than ever, so we can continue to flag workers fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing, and more.
  • We must be prepared for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm labor movements with a socialist program – a program that puts the health and needs of humanity ahead of the profits of the few.

Inevitably, during the crisis, we were unable to sell the socialist and raise funds as we normally would.


We therefore urgently call on all our viewers to donate to our Fight Fund.


In The Socialist of February 9, 2022:


CUS

No one in Westminster supports a pay rise for us…

Preparing for the municipal and Erdington elections


News

Reduce our fuel bills – nationalize energy

“I fear trying to live on a nurse’s salary”

The cuts have created an NHS waiting list crisis

Oxfam report “Inequality kills”

The Tories’ “race to the top” is a long way off

Tory ‘partygate’ crisis continues – kick them out


what we think

Catastrophic rise in the energy bill – a crisis caused by capitalism


Workplace News

Repel the leadership of Serco and Barts!

Support the university strikes!

Tesco cuts jobs and customer service

Just Eat couriers chase city chief executive as strike spreads

The Shards of Scunthorpe mark 100 days of strike action with protests

Perfect storm brewing in education

Advisory vote on PCS pay and conditions – vote ‘yes’


Campaign news

King’s student union refuses to support staff strike and NUS walkout

A socialist voice in Stanwell North

Tamil Solidarity Demonstration Against the Repressive Regime in Sri Lanka

Socialist Party Youth Meeting: The Mood Changes – Socialist Ideas Grow

Swansea Trades Council pledges to fight local government cuts

The Socialist: 25 years of aiding workers’ struggles and fighting for socialism


International information

The pro-market Socialist Party wins the elections in Portugal


Debate

Does the struggle for trans rights conflict with women’s rights?


Homepage
|

The Socialist February 9, 2022 |
Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe
| Make a donation
| audio | PDF | Ebook


Comments are closed.