Welfare state ‘in critical condition’
Labour MP John McDonnell warned a packed meeting in Glasgow today the welfare state is reaching critical and could be destroyed before the next general election.
Addressing a meeting organised by the Scottish Labour Campaign for Socialism, he called for direct action within and outside the Labour Party to fight further imminent Tory cuts.
The Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington said:
“I believe there is a line in the sand which will be crossed in the next few weeks and within 18 months the welfare state could be eradicated.
“In three weeks’ time the budget statement by George Osborne will put in another £10 billion cuts in welfare and £40bn cuts in public expenditure overall.
“That’s partly in reaction to state of an economy which has a kind of corrugated trajectory, bumping along the bottom – and we’ll soon be into a triple-dip recession.”
Mr McDonnell warned:
“The Tories are not doing this out of panic but on a planned basis. They’re implementing the blueprint outlined by (right-wing economist) Robert Skidelsky in ‘Beyond the Welfare State’ which has its roots in the old neoliberal theories of Friedman and Hayek.
“When these arguments are made we need to confront them every time.”
Coatbridge & Chryston MSP Elaine Smith, who is convener of the Campaign for Socialism, said Johann Lamont’s recent “something for nothing” speech had prompted her to write a letter to Scottish Labour MSPs, MPs and MEPs.