In a clear sign that public opinion has turned against swingeing public sector cuts, right wing Tory MP John Redwood today claimed the UK could ‘banish austerity’ if it left the EU. Never mind that the net costs of British membership would’t even come close to closing the budget deficit, it shows how desperate Leave campaigners are to appeal to Labour and progressive voters.
Don’t be fooled. In a week when the Tory government has cut taxes again for the corporations, it’s worth remembering that Redwood is on record as openly backing a ‘race to the bottom’ for corporation tax. Back in 2012 – when public anger with corporate tax dodgers was rocketing – he sided with the corporations and called for a slashing of the UK rate.
Rather than work across Europe to stop the ‘race to the bottom’ in taxation regimes and workers’ protection, Redwood wants to take Britain out so it moves even further along the free market road he has championed for decades.
Responding to John Redwood’s comments, Another Europe Is Possible spokesperson Luke Cooper, said:
“John Redwood has a nerve saying we could end austerity if we leave the EU when he has spent decades promoting a right wing agenda that has destroyed working class communities across the UK. No one should be fooled by this cynical attempt to pose as anti-austerity.
“The brutal austerity agenda pursued since 2010 is a political choice. As we’ve seen this week George Osborne’s budget has taken from the poor to give to the rich, slashing corporation tax while targeting the most vulnerable for cuts.
“John Redwood has always backed low taxes for the rich, he opposed taxing bankers’ bonuses, and backed the Bedroom Tax. He is no ally of the poor and disadvantaged.
“Austerity in Britain has nothing to do with the EU. It has everything to do with a Tory government determined to make us pay for a crisis we didn’t cause.”
22nd March 2016