J. T. Murphy

A Budget for the Bosses

“Concessions” Add to Workers’ Load

Source: Workers’ Life, May 4, 1928
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2008). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

THE Budget introduced by Churchill represents a further stage in the tremendous rationalisation plan which the British capitalists are putting into operation with a view to overtaking their competitors is the markets of the world. It is essentially an industrialists’ budget. The direct recipients of relief from taxation are the industrialists. The aim of the Budget is to assist the rationalisation plans now being put into operation in industry under the pressure of the banks.

Certainly this Budget can in no way be regarded as making any concessions to the workers. The reduction of ½d. in the pound on sugar is the most temporary thing imaginable, as was proven when similar reductions were made by Snowden in the 1824 Budget. Within a very few weeks every concession made by the reduction of taxes was swallowed by the trusts.

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THE other apparent concession, in the form of an increase in the income tax rebate for children, only touches the labour aristocracy. For before a person is liable to pay income tax he must have an income of £135 per annum and then be without family. There are only 1,222,000 workers liable to pay income tax, and a large proportion of these have families for which rebate is made. On the other hand there are 16,000,000 industrial workers.

Far from relieving the workers of any burden it is more than likely that the burdens placed on others will be passed on to the workers. For example, the new petrol tax will undoubtedly affect the ’bus concerns. The managing director of the London General Omnibus Co. said the other day: “Naturally we shall do our best to avoid any increase in fares; but if you put a tax on transport the public have to pay it, because it can only be recovered through fares.”

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NOR do even the middle classes fare very well in this Budget. They will be heavily hit by the petrol tax, although they get some compensation from the rebates in the income tax. They had been entertaining the idea for some time that the big price cuts that have taken place as a result of the introduction of Russian Oil Products into this country would permanently rest in their pockets. Churchill has shown them now how ephemeral are their hopes and that it is time they realised that even the middle classes are in the grip of financiers and the industrialists.

This class will again be hit by the rationalisation proposals to be applied to the Civil Service. The Government claims to have reduced their numbers by 7,000 during the three years up to 1927.

It now plans to further reduce the number of Civil Servants by 11,000 during the next four years, i.e., a reduction of 19 per cent.

(To be continued next week)