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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 August 2013

Them & Us

Working poor

The latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show that nearly one million (987,607) working people are now claiming housing benefit.

Since 2010 more new claims have been started by people who are working than the total increase in the number of claimants - meaning a growing proportion of housing benefit is going to those who work.

This just shows the impact of the public sector pay freeze, low pay and zero-hour contracts combined with the rising cost of living - even with a job people can't afford their rent!

Cost of austerity

According to Labour, the government's harsh welfare programmes will cost an extra 1.4 billion to the public purse.

Government estimates have been thrown off by the number of successful appeals against Atos decisions on disability benefits and low take-up of workfare schemes. The bedroom tax alone is costing 102 million to put in place.

That's the end of the lie that these hated schemes are all about saving us money then! Disgracefully Labour's response is that it will take the Coalition's cuts as a 'starting point'.

Jetsetter

12 holidays in four years - not a bad deal for the Cameron family. Seems like there's plenty of time to relax when you're prime minister.

Cameron's trips since he became PM include Granada, Italy, Mallorca, Algarve, Jura, Ibiza (twice) and the annual trip to Cornwall.

No amount of posing in shorts and loafers will convince us he's 'one of the people' with that kind of lifestyle.

Witch hunt

Tory education secretary Michael Gove has criticised Labour leader Ed Miliband for not being as effective as his predecessor, Neil Kinnock, at purging the left from the Labour Party.

Gove said: "While Kinnock moved bravely and remorselessly to eradicate Militant's [forerunner of the Socialist Party] influence, and Militant-sponsored MPs, from Labour, Miliband has done nothing to stop the takeover of his own party."

Far from needing a purge of socialists, Blair and Brown's wars, privatisation and attacks on democratic rights, purged the party of almost all remaining socialists.

And the idea that Miliband is overseeing a 'union takeover' will seem astonishing to the trade unionists who've been criticised, attacked and even reported to the police by the party in recent months.

Wait for it

1.7 billion worth of bonuses normally paid in March were delayed until April to take advantage of the reduction in the top tax rate from 50p to 45p.

Bonuses in banking and finance were twice as much in April 2013 as in April 2012 as the fat cats couldn't bear to miss an opportunity to maximise their already bloated bonuses.

Child poverty

A report by the National Children's Bureau has said that child poverty is a bigger problem in 2013 than it was in the 1960s. 3.6 million children now live in relative poverty compared to two million 50 years ago.

The report warns that rich and poor children are living completely separate lives. 63% of children living in poverty have at least one parent in work.

Worse off

As the Socialist warned millions of people will be worse off under new pensions arrangements. Those with a long working history entitled to the second state pension will be up to 2,000 worse off according to the TUC.

Still one million

Government ministers were quick to champion the latest statistics on the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETS), which showed a drop of 1,000.

But the percentage of young people in this category remained unchanged at 15.1% and the total number is still over one million. Not much to cheer about then.

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In The Socialist 28 August 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Stop cuts - Demand united action

Lobbying bill: don't let this Tory dream come true

The trial of Chelsea Manning

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

No to imperialist intervention in Syria

Egypt: al-Sisi's military tightens its grip on power


Socialist Party feature

"I have a dream" - 50th anniversary of march


'Youth Fight for Jobs' campaigning

Unionise to fight zero-hour contracts!

Nothing new at Sports Direct


Socialist Party workplace news

One Housing Group workers go into battle again

Unison: Tiny margin against Scottish local government strike

Coventry postal workers fight bullying management

The role of a workers' rep

Workplace In Brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Fighting mood at meeting to defend Whipps Cross Hospital

Wales' Mid-Staffs crisis

Support the DPAC week of action

Carlisle - Building the anti-bedroom tax fightback

Arrest Cuadrilla bosses - not fracking protesters!

Socialist Party camp


Socialist Party reviews

Film review: Elysium - an 'allegory for class warfare'

Exhibition review: Lowry's one track vision


 

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