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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 July 2013

Them & Us

No-go zones

A third of the country is now effectively a no-go zone for low-income families because of high rents.

A recent report from the Resolution Foundation shows that a couple with one child and an income of 22,000 would have to spend more than 35% of their income on rent in all but a third of local authority areas in the UK.

Rents that bear no relation to what people can afford to pay are the main reason for the rocketing housing benefit bill - essentially a huge subsidy to private landlords that allows them to charge whatever they like.

A rent cap combined with investment in building affordable social housing is the only sensible solution.

Tax inequality

Figures from the Office for National Statistics:

Golden goodbye

Being knighted wasn't quite enough for turning his back on the trade union movement for former TUC general secretary Brendan Barber.

Now it's emerged that he received a one-off payment of 104,379 when he retired in 2012. It's alright for some - the public sector workers who he failed to lead to victory in the dispute over public sector pensions won't be living quite the same retirement lifestyle as him.

What type of jobs?

Whenever unemployment figures show a tiny increase in the numbers in employment, the government cheers its success at solving the jobs crisis.

But what type of jobs are people getting? More than 75% of the net rise of jobs in the last three years has been in low-paying sectors like retail and care.

Most of these new jobs are paying below 8 an hour - in reality well below what people actually need to live, particularly in the cities and the south east.

Looks like a corporation...

The committee set up to investigate tax avoidance by companies like Google and Starbucks has also challenged Prince Charles on his tax affairs.

A landed estate, the Duchy of Cornwall, pays Charles 19 million a year but pays no capital gains or corporation tax itself.

The aide who represented Charles at the committee insisted the estate is a "force for social good" and should not be counted as a corporation. Yet its properties include a distribution warehouse used by Waitrose.

We can't help but agree with the MP on the committee who commented: "If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck you sort of assume it's a duck."

Home alone

A record number of children may be left home alone this summer because of unaffordable childcare costs.

The average cost of just one week's childcare during the summer holiday this year is expected to be 109.23.

Many childcare centres have closed completely after local authority cuts. And youth services have been ravaged by austerity so parents with older children are likely to particularly struggle.

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In The Socialist 17 July 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

'We've had enough' - All strike together!

Urgent - trade unions must build a political voice for the working class

Fire cuts, pay cuts, pension cuts, job cuts

MPs' pay to rise to 74,000...

Another drugs company scam

G4S tagging scandal: another failure of privatisation

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

USA: Zimmerman, Trayvon and racism

'Black July' - Sri Lanka 1983 and the beginning of civil war


Socialist Party feature

End violence against women!


Socialist Party review

The story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs


Socialist Party workplace news

Lecturers in Wales expose working conditions

Victory for teachers at UEL

Equinox workers strike again

Fight Royal Mail privatisation!

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Greens rejected in Brighton

Bedroom tax non-payment soars in Scotland: Stop evictions

Councils: Don't do the Con-Dems' dirty work!

'Sick Of Your Boss?' week of action reports

Durham Miners' Gala shows mood for new party

Campaigning against anti-LGBT bullying in schools

Lincolnshire - save our libraries

Building the Socialist Party


Readers' comments

Who are the real criminals?


 

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