‘Chancellor Hammond presented a bogus budget for a bogus Brexit and a bogus end to austerity’, Robert Griffiths told the Communist Party’s Political Committee on Wednesday evening (October 31).
‘His budget sought to browbeat and bribe Eurosceptic Tory and pro-EU Labour MPs into supporting the Cabinet’s proposed bogus Brexit deal – or else he would bring in an emergency austerity budget. At the same time, he was indicating to the public that if the Commons votes down any such deal, the Tories would fight an early General Election as a cuddly pro-NHS, anti-austerity party – possibly under his leadership’, Mr Griffiths explained.
‘The key thing to understand about the Chancellor is that he is the chief representative in the Cabinet of the City and big business. His main mission is to keep Britain tied to the pro-market, pro-austerity and anti-socialist rules of the EU Single Market and Customs Union’, the Communist Party general secretary insisted.
Monday’s budget did not signal an end to austerity.
‘Apart from a small rise next year, public spending as a proportion of Britain’s GDP is set to continue falling to 37.9 per cent by 2024 – down from 38.5 per cent this year – according to the Office for Budget Responsibility, with no compensation to cover the cuts of the past eight years’, Mr Griffiths pointed out.
Britain’s Communists welcomed plans to launch a ‘People’s Brexit’ campaign of meetings across Britain, beginning with a rally in London on November 22 with economists Grace Blakely and former Greek MP Costas Lapivitsas, RMT general secretary Mick Cash, Guardian economics editor Larry Elliott, trade union officer Paula Barker, John Rees of Counterfire, Robert Griffiths and chair Mary Davis.
The CP Political Committee also pledged support for the People’s Assembly’s new ‘Britain is broken – we can’t afford the Tories‘ initiative, calling for the reinvigoration of local campaign groups and stronger links with Labour Party socialists and the trade union movement.
International secretary John Foster announced that delegates from the communist and workers’ parties of Ireland, South Africa and Cyprus would be attending the CP of Britain’s 55th congress on November 17-18, along with a number of guests from embassies and domiciled parties here.
He condemned the recent violent attacks on communists in the Ukraine and India and said that solidarity messages were being sent to the Communist Party of Brazil and the Workers Party now under threat after the election of extreme right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro.