Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/14518
Them & Us
Gas Mk 4.4 million
Centrica, the company that owns formerly nationalised British Gas, has warned that rising bills will continue. Household energy bills could rise by as much as £100 over the next 18 months according to Centrica's chief executive, Sam Laidlaw. He'll be cushioned from this though - it recently emerged that Laidlaw gets a £680 discount from his own Centrica bill - just part of his £4.4 million salary, bonuses and benefits!
But bosses at Centrica shouldn't get too comfy- the company recently became the latest victim of the 'shareholder spring' when 12% of shareholders refused to endorse its pay and bonuses policy.
Friends in high places
After the riots last August the government insisted that they were nothing to do with poverty and cuts. No, instead bad parenting and the breakdown of the family was to blame. It seems that this view doesn't only let them and their destruction of public services off the hook but also opens up a whole load of profit to some of their Eton chums.
Octavius Black, contemporary of Cameron at Eton and friend and neighbour of education secretary Michael Gove, has been awarded a contract for his company Parent Gym to provide parenting classes as part of a trial scheme the government is rolling out.
Pay more, get less
Average pay for bosses of FTSE 100 companies rose by 11% last year to £3.65 million.
We're told that you have to pay more to get results (except for ordinary people who have to be paid less to stop us from being lazy). But research has shown that the lucrative pay deals at FTSE 100 companies have no effect on performance at all.
Which is obvious when you consider that in the same period as this pay rise, the value of shares has reduced by an average of 6.6%.
Value for money
One of the reasons that Remploy factories have to be closed, we were told, is that they're just too expensive. £25,000 is far too much to be spending getting a disabled person into work.
And yet the government's flagship scheme the Regional Jobs Fund (RJF) could cost £200,000 per job created! What could the difference be? That the RJF is designed to create only private sector jobs perhaps?
Bristol was the only city to vote yes to having an elected mayor when ten areas held referendums on 3 May. One keen candidate is already making preparations - by legally changing his name to Mr Corrupt Self-serving Lying B'stard. We think he needs something that will stand out more from the candidates of the mainstream parties.
- 0.003% of the adult population own £414 billion - more than one third of British GDP
- 77% of the budget deficit is being reduced by spending cuts, only 23% by tax increases
- More than 50% of the tax increases are made up of the VAT rise
- The increase in wealth of the richest 1,000 people in Britain has been £315 billion in the last 15 years
- And don't forget the £750 billion sitting idle in the banks of big business that could be used to fund a massive scheme of public works and job creation
What we heard
The following is a brief summary of my case work this week:
An extremely ill and alcoholic ex-serviceman was found dead at home. The NHS refused to treat his cancer unless he gave up alcohol but couldn't offer him treatment for his post traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism. He killed himself.
A single parent with severe mental health problems was afraid of being found 'fit for work', for the third time - she tried to kill herself by setting fire to her home. She was admitted to the local psychiatric unit only after they discharged her severely mentally-ill daughter from the same unit.
A 65 year-old man who has worked on the building sites since he was a youth had a massive stroke and is not expected to live - he was terrified of the poverty of retirement.
A mum and dad and their three children are 'living' with her parents in a one-bedroom flat - they were deemed to have made themselves "intentionally homeless" without even being interviewed - the lies of the bigoted landlord were believed.
Tomorrow is another busy day, my head hurts from the injustice of it all. We have to organise to change the world. That's why I am a member of the Socialist Party, please get involved.