The following statement was issued by General Secretary ROBERT GRIFFITHS on behalf of the Communist Party of Britain in response to the ConDem budget 2011.

 COMMUNISTS DEMAND BUDGET FOR THE MILLIONS NOT THE MILLIONAIRES
 
This was a Budget for the millionaires, including the 22 who sit in the Con-Dem Cabinet.
 
This Budget for recession and unemployment, which will do nothing for growth, will worsen the economic crisis and increase the deficit. It  demonstrates the disastrous course that the government has adopted, in line with demands of the City paymasters who fund the Tory Party.
 
The economy is stagnant, living standards are falling for the majority of people, the hoped-for tax revenues from growth are not materialising and unemployment is soaring above three million, as the Con-Dem coalition takes the knife to vital public services, benefits and jobs.
 
The two-point cut in corporation tax on big business profits, to 26 per cent, as the first step in a process of reducing the tax to 23 per cent by 2014, means that Britain will fall even further behind almost every other major capitalist economy when it comes to taxing the big monopolies.
 
Profit taxes in the US and Japan are 40 and 41 per cent respectively, while France, Germany, Australia and Canada already have significantly higher levels of tax on corporate profits than in Britain.
 
More than half of the top 700 companies in Britain pay little or no Corporation Tax — a scandal that will only end when Barclays, Boots, Vodafone, Tesco's and the rest can no longer shuffle funds between tax havens and “shell” companies overseas because all such loopholes have been shut down.
 
Chancellor Osborne's puny £2 billion windfall tax on monopoly profits in the British oil industry should fool nobody. It is a drop in the ocean compared with Royal Dutch Shell profits of nearly £12 billion last year and the likelihood that they will double again in 2011.
 
The only way to ensure that the associated reduction in petrol duty is not passed on to consumers is through price controls at the pump, which this government is not prepared to impose.
 
While the increases in personal tax allowances will leave the average household with an extra £205 in annual income, this will soon be swallowed up by price increases in food, domestic fuel, public transport, debt interest and housing costs.
 
Linking future tax allowance increases to the consumer price index means that these elements will not be taken as much into account as with the retail price index.
 
But the reality is that neither index fully reflects cost of living increases for millions of working class and even middle class households.
 
A working class price index would show inflation running at 12 per cent, not 5.5 per cent (RPI) or 4.4 per cent (CPI).
 
Instead of a millionaires’ budget, workers and their families need a “People's Budget.”
 
Price controls should be imposed on food, petrol, domestic fuel and public transport.
 
A windfall tax should be levied on the monopoly profits of the banks and the pharmaceutical, armaments and energy corporations as well as the oil corporations.
 
The railways should be returned to public ownership and current subsidies used to invest in a modern, low-fare and comprehensive rail network.
 
Pensions, benefits and the national minimum wage should be uprated in line with a genuine working class price index.
 
A wealth tax should be levied on the super-rich and a Robin Hood tax on financial transactions in the City of London, which would raise far more money than will allegedly be saved through public spending cuts.
 
At Saturday's TUC demonstration (Saturday March 26), we will hear the voice of the millions. It needs a declaration of war on a ruling-class government that has already declared war on the welfare state, the working class and the majority of the people of Britain.
 
The objective must be to clear out this illegitimate Tory-led government and replace with it with a Labour government that is forced to act for the millions not the millionaires.
 
March 24 2011    
 
 
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