Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/645/10566
News in brief
Sky's the limit
IT SEEMS that the belt tightening measures imposed on us by the coalition government hasn't penetrated the boardrooms of the top 100 FTSE companies, where directors' pay rocketed up by 55% in the last year. Corporate chiefs' average pay is now a staggering £4.9 million - or nearly 200 times the average wage according to the Guardian.
Top fat cat was Bart Becht of Reckitt Benckiser, who netted £92,596,160 followed by Tony Pidgley of Berkeley Group with £38,428,724, while Tesco's director's remuneration was £17,934,000.
Bizarrely, if not surprisingly, the Institute of Directors claimed that "the majority of directors across the private sector have received a pay cut in real terms this year."
Everything must go
MARGARET THATCHER was accused of 'selling off the family silver' during her privatisation binge in the 1980s. It seems that Tory PM David Cameron has gone one better with the revelation that museums may have to sell some of their artefacts as a result of the coalition cuts, according to the head of the soon to be abolished Museums, Libraries and Archive Council.
In addition to selling some of their antiquities and laying off their curators museums will also have to cut back on educational programmes and special exhibitions.
Regional museums will also be adversely affected by central government cuts to local government funding.
Not so easyCouncil
TORY-RUN Barnet council in north-west London has enjoyed notoriety with its tag of becoming the country's first 'easyCouncil' with budget airline-inspired cost-cutting measures, including the privatisation of services.
Praised as a 'model council' by the government, Barnet's 'innovative' schemes to prune its budget included paying outside business consultants to identify areas for spending cuts.
However, it has emerged that the prudent council actually spent £1.5 million in order to save £1.4 million from its budget!
FOR THE third time in as many years, regional health bosses - with government approval - have announced their intention to transfer maternity services from King George's Hospital in Ilford, east London, by 2012 and to close its A&E department by 2013.
A final decision on the Hospital's future will be taken following a public meeting of the relevant health trusts on 15 December.
Transferring the A&E, critical care and maternity services will put even more pressure on overstretched resources at Queen's Hospital in Romford located several miles away. Patients' lives will be put at risk. Yet, unbelievably, health officials claim that "operating A&E from fewer sites can deliver better care".
The real reason for these cuts is that the health trust is deep in debt due to the exorbitant cost of servicing its privatisation contracts, including the building of Queen's Hospital.
In The Socialist 3 November 2010:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis