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From The Socialist newspaper, 31 August 2011

'Broken Britain'...

Kath White

Welcome to David Cameron's latest wheeze to save 'broken Britain' - the Social Impact Bond. It's got a lot in common with all Desperate Dave's other failed remedies.

The bond begs private investors to fund intensive programmes totalling 40 million for the 120,000 'troubled', 'dysfunctional' families that Cameron blames for most of Britain's problems.

Tory ministers want 'philanthropic' firms, investors and charities to put their cash into projects that help these families cut the number of days their children spend in care, lower the rate of teenage pregnancies and reduce the number of visits to hospital A&E wards. 'Please stop breathing or at least stop breeding' sums up Cameron's analysis of the social problems that his government is relentlessly making worse.

As a carrot for these investors they will be paid a dividend for 'successful projects' - the whole scheme will really be a backhanded form of privatisation.

The pilot schemes are in Tory-run cities that already face cuts in public sector spending. One of these councils, Birmingham, is threatening to lay off 7,000 of its workers and has recently cut 15 million from its grants for local charities.

A pilot scheme in Westminster showed that 20,000 invested in a 'problem family' could save 40,000 that would have been spent on social workers, police and child protection staff. So why aren't the council spending it rather than cutting services and relying on bribing private investors to only partially replace them?

For three decades now, governments have told us that neoliberal economic policies such as privatisation would be our salvation.

Now in a period of huge anxiety about the worsening recession, all Cameron can offer is a plan for a handful of capitalists to massively enrich themselves amid all the carnage.

Keep fighting against the public sector cuts and for a socialist alternative.

...and 'Broke Britons'

Dave Carr

'Fixing broken Britain' with austerity measures is the constant refrain of prime minister David Cameron.

But government spending cuts, pay freezes, tax increases and job losses are leading to millions of 'broke Britons'.

As the UK economy continues to flatline, a recent survey shows that a majority of the country's eleven million low to middle income workers are living a hand-to-mouth existence.

The financial plight of the 'working poor' has been made worse by the government allowing privately owned companies to let prices rip.

Statistics collected by Ipsos Mori for the Resolution Foundation think tank show that 52% of low to middle income households (ie those earning between 12,000 and 48,000 a year) don't have any cash left at the end of each month.

Unsurprisingly only 27% of low to middle income earners are able to make monthly savings compared to 47% of those on higher incomes.

Many of those surveyed expected their financial position to worsen in the next year as all costs increase.

For example, recent research shows that the price of school dinners is going up in two-thirds of schools this year.

As consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of GDP (total economic output), squeezing people's incomes will further depress the ailing economy.

However, this unashamedly business-friendly government continues to preside over an ever-widening wealth gap.

While people are forced to continually juggle payments of their soaring rent and household bills, utility companies like EDF and British Gas, high street banks, train operating companies, etc, rake in mega profits.

Earlier this year it was reported that the richest 1,000 individuals in the UK enjoyed a combined wealth of 396 billion.

This astronomical sum is 18% (60.2 billion) more than they had in 2010 and this increase alone is almost enough to plug the government's budget deficit.

Yes, Britain is broken and broke. But the cause of this 'breakdown' is not to be found in the supposed extravagance of ordinary people but in the money-grubbing profit system which benefits a rich minority. The cure is simple, let's get rid of capitalism!

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In The Socialist 31 August 2011:

Fighting public sector cuts

Mass action can stop the cuts

Con-Dems out to destroy NHS

Housing crisis wrecks people's lives

A warning from the FE sector - hands off our education!

Socialist Party editorial

The riots and the aftermath

Socialist Party news and analysis

Gaddafi regime crumbles

'Murdochgate' places Cameron under spotlight

'Broken Britain'...

Fast News

Socialist Party youth and students

We won't be a lost generation - fight for jobs and education

Socialist Party workplace news

Plymouth Unison - Battle to reverse de-recognition - Solidarity needed!

31st August - further day of protest by construction workers

Tyne and Wear: Churchill Metro workers begin fightback

South Yorkshire Newspapers strike now in seventh week

Youth workers strike across Oxfordshire

Part time workers and the great job con

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Keep EDL out!

6,500 Swansea children in poverty

Socialist Party summer camp

Newcastle-under-Lyme Socialist Party is now up and running!

Socialist Party review

Why Marx was right


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