Tories attack the poorest in society. Enough is enough – the working class must make a stand

Throughout the pandemic this government has lurched from one catastrophe to another, always with the workers of this country paying the price, either financially or devastatingly with their health and even their lives. Tens of thousands of preventable deaths have occurred due to the failure of the Tory government to properly protect its citizens and as a direct result of decisions they have made. All while publicly awarding contracts to their friends and supporters, costing the tax payer billions for services that were never delivered, or at least not in full.

These are traits that any socialist knows come with a Conservative government, prioritising their friends and benefactors above the interests of the people as they have been doing in full view of the nation throughout this pandemic yet without the backlash we have every right to expect.

As with any government that neglects the people of its country there is always at least one issue that pushes society over the edge. That decision, which makes society say “enough is enough”.

The government’s plans to make the working class and poorest amongst us pay for their failings and the pandemic, can and must be the catalyst for the fightback.

The lowest paid and most vulnerable targeted

Public servants have rightly been applauded and hailed as heroes by politicians, employers and the public over the past 20 months. Providing vital services, often at great risk to themselves, has placed these “key workers” in the public eye like never before. Yet last Autumn, the Chancellor sent a shot across the bows that it is these same workers, who for months had been clapped on a Thursday and singled out for special praise, that would have to help foot the bill for the pandemic. A public sector pay freeze the first in a number of decisions, that showed the Tory mask was slipping.

Now, nearly a year on, we have seen in all its savagery the ideology that drives this government. The working class will pay, must pay, regardless of the consequences. On top of the attacks on our pay, the forecasts for rises in inflation, the proposed increased in NI contributions from next April, and now attacks to the benefits of the most vulnerable, see threats to our living standards the likes of which many haven’t seen since the 1970’s.

Let’s be clear, poverty and devastation will follow for millions unless this government is stopped and forced to back track from it’s ideologically driven agenda.

PCS has written to the Secretary of State for Social Security demanding the reversal of the Government’s decision to scrap the £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit. In that letter the union’s General Secretary has quoted some feedback received from members as to what this cut to benefit will mean to them. Not only, as DWP workers expected to deliver the benefits system, what they will witness from the claimants they support, but as government workers who need to claim the very benefits they deliver, such are the low levels of their own pay. Some of the feedback received by the DWP group is heartbreaking and must be used to not only highlight the devastation these attacks will have on our members and the public, but to also build alliances and a coalition of activists, trade unionists, and community leaders that will take this fight on.

There has never been a more important time for the working class of the UK to rise up against a government hell bent on eroding the living standards for the majority. There has never been a better time to unite the 99%, putting aside sectarian differences for the good of those who will ultimately pay the price of division within our movement.

In the coming weeks members of PCS Left Unity will be engaging with members across DWP and other employer groups, about the union’s national campaign and seeking to build those wider alliances as we fight the attacks on the most vulnerable in our communities.

We urge every member to engage with the union and consider joining PCS Left Unity in our efforts to build the fight back that can win for members and society.

Martin Cavanagh