So the British Government tells us that the country is moving out of economic down turn and British’s economy if the fastest growing among all industrial countries. Then a question arises who is benefiting the growth. All the evidence shows that Chancellor Osborne’s so called economic recovery is for the top 10% while the majority of British people are still experiencing their living standards being eroded with inflation rising faster than the income. Statistics show that on average working people are earning £2,300 less in real term than they did in 2010. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found the disposable income had increased by £940 for the richest fifth of households between 2011/12 and 2012/13, while the disposable income of the other entire groups fell by around £250. The poorest household experience the sharpest fall of all with a loss of £381 in the same period.

Sunday Times’ annual list of British Rich has revealed that the Britain’s richest 1,000 have increased a combined fortune by soaring 15.4% since the Times last edition. They now hold a total of 519 billion between them, more than doubled since the financial crises in 2009. Yet for the ordinary households in 2013 spelled more of the same economic hardship with inflation being 2.5% while an average worker’s income dwindled still further in real term.

Con Dem austerity measures are pushing the country to the Victorian times indicating a move to poor laws where poor were punished for being poor while the rich were rewarded. Although the poor law was abolished in 1948, its legacy has always have been haunting us that has now reached its peak. Public service and funds are rapidly moving into private hands helping the profiteers to become even richer while the needy disabled and older people are being forced to struggle to meet their needs. Workers are forced to take any jobs, or face benefits reduced or even totally removed. A vast number of people are forced to work part time and/or on zero contracts. Working families have to rely on food banks to feed their children. Save the Children Charity has exposed shocking consequences of Governments’ austerity agenda. The Charity fears that if this trend continued the child poverty will reach five million by 2020 an increase of 1.5 million in next six years. The bed room tax is causing further hardship for disabled and families with children pushing them out of their community, and school.

Oxfam’s Racheal Orr said, “It was time for politicians to grasp the nettle, the rich has to be made to pay their taxes with a crackdown on legislative loopholes.” Austerity agenda is an excuse to destroy public sector and Social Services and to promote privatisation. The fact of the matter is that despite the public expenditure cuts the Con – Dem coalition Government has failed to reduce deficit but has been successful in helping the British elites to increase their wealth.

Unfortunately, the Labour agenda is not very much different to the Coalition Government. Instead of targeting the rich and focus on attacking the tax evaders and tax avoiders, the Labour party policies are also focusing to attack the most vulnerable in our society, the young and disabled.
It is time that we the workers wake up and fight back as our ancestors did for reduced working day and better working conditions. There has to be more demonstrations like the one People’s Assembly organised on 21st June. 50,000 people marched from BBC HQ through the streets of London and arrived at their final destination – the Parliament Square. Yet BBC miserably failed to give any coverage to this historical march. How disgusting.

Although workers are resisting Government policies up and down the country, it is time the Trade Union Council wake up to protect its members and call for a General Strike.

Joginder Bains [IWA National General Secretary] Dyal Bagri [IWA National president]