Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/749/16016
Them ... & Us
What's in our food?
Tesco showed us just how much every penny counts to them when horsemeat was found in its beef burgers, as well as in those of other supermarkets including Iceland, Aldi and Lidl. Of 27 burger products 23 contained pork and ten contained horse, and out of 31 beef meal products, 21 tested positive for pig DNA. Horsemeat accounted for 29% of one of Tesco's burger products that had been tested.
It's like the 19th century when food adulteration was prolific with sawdust being added to flour, and lead being used to colour cheese as retailers sought to bulk out their profits. We need the nationalisation of the major food production, distribution and retail companies under democratic workers' control.
Access all areas
38 companies, including some of the world's biggest oil, pharmaceutical and telecoms giants, have been cosying up to government ministers as part of a 'strategic relations' initiative. 698 face-to-face meetings have taken place under the current government as part of the scheme! And now it's set to be expanded, giving another 30 companies a ministerial 'buddy'. Presumably the trade unions and anti-cuts campaigns will be included in this second wave...
Make work pay
Despite all the talk of 'making work pay' the Con-Dems' approach to public services is keeping a huge number of people stuck at home. A new report predicts that as many as 2.8 million parents who would like to work are forced to stay at home because of the rocketing cost of childcare. One in four parents who stay at home with young children would prefer to go back to work - rising to 40% in London. The same report suggests that in the last three months alone the cost of childcare has risen by 6%.
Cost of not studying
As the deadline for university applications approaches, there is no sign of a pick-up in the number of students applying to start studying this autumn. This is unsurprising of course - £9,000 fees are enough to put off most people.
There's nothing to be done though - students 'have' to contribute more when the country is in such financial trouble...don't they? A study by the group Million+ has suggested that, in the long run, falling student numbers could actually cost the economy up to £6.6 billion!
Winter is a hard time when finances are on the edge. LSL Property Services has revealed that missed rents were the highest in December as people struggled to make ends meet over Christmas - a total of £326 million unpaid. And apparently it's not just individuals who suffer 'cliff-edge poverty'. The four days of snow that hit Britain in mid-January could be enough to tip the economy into the long-dreaded triple-dip recession.
The tax haven that is the Cayman Islands - part of the remains of the British Empire - is threatening to do away with secretive tax dodging. Reason to celebrate? Well, not really.
Instead the Cayman Island Monetary Authority is planning for a 'transparent' light tax regime. So now the 9,438 domiciled hedge funds based there can openly flaunt their billions of pounds of tax-savings in our face.
In The Socialist 23 January 2013:
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