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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 February 2013

Them & Us

Making a mint from mince

British government officials are desperately trying to get a derogation (exemption) from new EU laws which limit the amount of fat and collagen (used in cosmetic surgery) which can be present in minced meat.

The new regulations state that lean minced meat should have a maximum of 19% fat and collagen, pure minced beef no more than 35%, and minced meat made using pork no more than 48%.

A Defra report last year pointed out that: "A significant proportion of mincemeat currently sold in the UK contains a greater proportion of collagen than would be permitted."

The report goes on to say the total savings for UK businesses from avoiding this regulation would be 829,799. This is a pittance compared to profits made in the meat processing industry - for example, when profits crashed last year food giant Vion still made 12 million profit! Yet again, profits come before our health and nutrition.

Housing crisis

The Con-Dems are commissioning just 37,000 new 'affordable' homes - less than a fifth of what was promised. And 'affordable' now means 80% of market rates - so not very affordable anyway!

In 2011-12, new affordable housing starts fell by 68%.

Average rents in England are rising by 300 a year, and by over 600 in one-tenth of the country. So much for Prime Minster David Cameron's claim that housing benefit cuts were making rents fall.

For real affordable housing there should be rent caps - not benefit caps, and an emergency plan to build and renovate publicly owned housing.

By the rules?

Zambia Sugar, part of Associated British Foods (ABF), paid only 0.5% of its $123 million pre-tax profit in Zambian corporation tax between 2007 and 2012.

ABF says it is 'playing by the rules'. In which case the rules need to change!

Multinational tax avoidance in the developing world is estimated to total 70 billion a year.

ABF, which also owns Primark, has a holding company in the tax-haven of Luxembourg to help it pay less tax in Britain and Ireland too.

Cash piles

The Socialist regularly reminds readers of the fact that 850 billion is sitting idle in the banks of big business in Britain. But internationally, just one company - Apple - has its very own hoarded cash pile of ($137 billion) 87 billion! The company is being sued by one of its investors to share out the money to shareholders.

Wealth inequality

In the mid-1990s the top 1% of earners received 7% of all income paid, today it's 10%. The bottom 50% of earners, on the other hand, have seen our slice of the pie reduced from 19% to 18%.

TUSC in Eastleigh

Dave Nellist

Pleased to announce #RMT Council of Executives member Darren Procter to stand in #Eastleigh by-election #TUSC

If food prices had risen like house prices, a chicken would cost 51.18. Cut rents, not benefits #TUSC #Eastleigh


Looking forward to standing as the #TUSC candidate 4 #Eastleigh. We want jobs, public services, protection of the vulnerable not the greedy!

Do MPs deserve the money they receive?? If a party truly represents the workers, they would take a worker's wage, wouldn't they?? I would!!

Before the people of #Eastleigh vote, ask yourself this - who caused us to be in this situation? Bankers? Why is no party saying this?? #TUSC

#Eastleigh will candidates be looking to represent the area or looking to further a personal political career? #TUSC standing 2represent u!!

How much would #Eastleigh benefit if we chased the 120bn worth of tax money evaded, avoided or uncollected.......only #TUSC asking??

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In The Socialist 13 February 2013:

Socialist Party NHS campaigning

'Save our A&E' - Defend the NHS

Mid Staffs hospital scandal: Big business culture kills

Socialist Party news and analysis

GCSE U-turn shows all Gove's 'reforms' can be stopped

Smash the blacklist - not the unions!

Victory over 'workfare' sanctions

Horsemeat scandal: good for profit, bad for health

"Fully funded" social care plan - still needed

Them & Us

Socialist Party feature

15 February 2003: A million on the streets to stop the war

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Campaigning against cuts

TUSC: 'No cuts' candidate in Eastleigh

Nottingham: Campaigning for comedy without misogyny

Support the fight for a socialist alternative

Socialist Party 2013 national youth and student meeting

Socialist Party workplace news

Unison region calls for general strike

Care workers fight cuts in pay and conditions

Workplace In Brief

International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Martial law ends ferry workers' strike

Reviews and readers' comments

Low pay + high prices = debt misery

Film review: 'No' - an exercise in rewriting Chile's history

Spielberg's Lincoln by Tony Mulhearn


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