Labour Westminster cuts will be devastating for working-class communities

The Scottish Socialist Party is challenging the Labour candidates in Rutherglen and Glasgow East to publicly debate and try to justify the savage cuts to jobs, education, health, community centres, libraries, youth facilities, and livelihoods which Sir Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar’s continuation of Tory spending limits will impose on local people, under a Labour government.

SSP Campaign Manager, Richie Venton, said:

“Ever since Sir Keir Starmer seized leadership of Labour and dumped every promise he had previously made, the SSP has warned of the brutal consequences for working-class people.

“We warned that Labour’s repeated pledge to stick to Tory spending limits spells disaster for communities and the workers who provide public services.

“We warned that as they face a £1.3trillion public sector debt, an incoming Labour government faces a stark choice.

“They could follow the SSP’s policies and invest in a Socialist Green New Deal, rooted in public ownership of construction, energy, transport and banking, to build 100,000 urgently needed Council houses for affordable rent; a free public transport network to tackle poverty and car pollution simultaneously; and end the profiteering racket in energy production with clean, affordable, green energy, through a worker-led rapid transition to renewables.

“Or obey the fiscal rules set by the Tories and plunge the knife into jobs, local services, health, education, and jobs.

“Labour has openly, shamelessly chosen the Tory option. They are the Continuity Tories.”

Liam McLaughlan, SSP candidate in Glasgow East constituency, told us:

“Now the SSP’s warnings have been independently confirmed in the latest report from the Resolution Foundation think tank.

“They warn Labour’s plans will mean £19billion in public sector cuts. That is the equivalent of cutting the wages of 611,286 junior doctors, 817,555 trainee nurses, 589,750 probationary teachers! Absolute devastation for workers and communities.

It’s bad enough that the SNP/Scottish Green Party councillors in Glasgow city council are slashing 450 teachers’ jobs and cutting vital health and social care services to the most vulnerable. Now Labour wants to get elected on policies that will wipe out jobs and services on a scale not seen since the days of Tory chancellor George Osborne.”

Bill Bonnar, SSP candidate in Rutherglen, added:

“My area is already suffering cuts and closures carried out by South Lanarkshire Labour councillors, propped up by Tory councillors. Community centres, libraries and youth hubs are being obliterated in Cambuslang, Halfway and Blantyre.

“The SSP has been campaigning on the streets in opposition to these closures. Labour MP Michael Shanks is nowhere to be seen.

“During the Rutherglen by-election, he tried to fool people with promises that he would stand up to Starmer and demand change, but he’s done nothing of the kind. He’s simply towed the line of the Labour leader.

“My challenge to Labour’s Michael Shanks is this: are you prepared to break ranks with Sir Keir Starmer and millionaire Anas Sarwar by publicly declaring you will fight for investment in jobs and vital services, defying the Tory spending limits your Labour leaders plan to continue?

“Are you prepared to hold a public debate and openly say you oppose Labour sticking to Tory spending limits – which means horrendous cuts and closures?

“Starmer’s Labour Party have made plain they will change absolutely nothing after 14 years of ruinous rule by the Tories.

“My appeal to people desperate to see the back of the Tories is not to waste your vote on Labour, or any of the parties of the rich and big business. Vote for the party rooted in the working class, in the trade unions and communities – the Scottish Socialist Party.”