Easter is normally a time for a welcome break and a bit of reflection as the summer approaches. But for hundreds of thousands of families it means stress and misery this year.
Many have just suffered the introduction of the housing benefit cap which means that those on benefits in high-cost inner-city areas are in danger of losing their homes or being forced to subsidise their private-sector rent from their own benefits.
Those receiving tax credits find that Tory cuts have now kicked in and some families are losing almost £4,000 a year. Needless to say these are all the poorest families who rely on tax credits to survive.
David Cameron's ludicrous assertion that in this period of austerity "we're all in it together" rings very hollow when we discover that Amazon, for example, is paying no British corporation tax by the manoeuvre of shifting its European operations to Luxembourg. It's far from the only one. Boots, for example, once owned by a British family, is now owned by a hedge fund and has shifted its headquarters to Switzerland where corporation tax is less than a quarter of the Tory-reduced rate here.
Anyone questioning where Tory austerity is leading us need look no further than Greece or Spain - both hit by rapidly rising unemployment and economic recession.
Greece is facing rapid privatisation and destruction of the social infrastructure, as a recent union solidarity delegation to Greece has reported on.
Spain had a Socialist Party government until the recent elections but the party's adherence to the demands of the European Central Bank cost it electorally.
That paved the way for a right-wing government which has introduced a new and even more vicious austerity programme. Joblessness in Spain for adults has now passed 25 per cent. For young people it's almost 50 per cent, including many graduates and skilled workers. Many are threatened with eviction because they cannot pay rent.
The Spanish government's attempt to borrow money is met with increasing bond yield rates which reached 5.8 per cent last week - a sign investors consider it risky. At this rate Spain will be heading for the same treatment as Greece by the European Central Bank.
There are some very big lessons in all this for socialist parties across Europe. Those that have carried out austerity measures have lost office and support as desperately worried voters look for something far more radical than "fiscal responsibility" dictated by the European Central Bank.
George Galloway's surprise win in the Bradford West by-election shows that while the vast majority of working-class people are totally opposed to the Con-Dem coalition, they need to see a more radical approach from Labour which absolutely draws a line under both new Labour's love for wars and its economic strategy which included some privatisation and a great deal of private finance in public services.
As people seek to defend the National Health Service against the appalling new legislation and to stand up against the government's benefit cuts and attack on the whole welfare state, they need something far more radical than they've been offered so far.
Just over a year ago the TUC organised a massive and very successful march through London under the heading Another World is Possible.
This attracted over half a million people and was a remarkable demonstration of trade union and labour movement unity.
As May Day approaches we need to harness that sense of a social movement and social purpose to stand against the economic and social strategy of the Con-Dems.
Their much-vaunted "responsibility" has seen unemployment rise and total debt rise from just over £1 trillion to just over £1.4 trillion.
The policies of Cameron and George Osborne will not lead us out of recession but will lead to higher unemployment, greater poverty - and massive tax breaks for the very rich and the corporate wheeler dealers.
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