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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 September 2013

Them & Us

Falling wages

A new report for the Resolution Foundation has found that a growing number of people getting their first job, and particularly women, quickly get stuck in part-time, low-paying roles.

In 2013 more than a third of jobs for new employees were part time. This is partly to blame for the fact that more than two thirds of hotel and restaurant workers earn less than the living wage.

Another method used to keep pay down is to keep workers self-employed - average income for the self-employed fell from 16,100 a year in 2002 to 11,900 in 2011.

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation someone working full time on minimum wage would earn just over 12,000 a year whereas a single person needs to be earning at least 16,850 to reach an acceptable standard of living.

Unequal pay

The TUC is taking a complaint to the European Commission that the government has failed to implement European legislation designed to ensure agency workers receive equal pay with permanent staff doing the same job.

The TUC claims that one in six agency workers are on contracts that avoid this legislation by being employed directly by the agency.

The government's reaction has so far been to essentially say 'yes of course we've provided a way for companies to get around it'.

Rising prices

Wonga con

Payday lenders are pumping millions of pounds of extra money into advertising. The top five companies increased their advertising spending by 26% to 36.3 million in the year to June 2013.

The biggest of these, Wonga, is expected to announce soon that its annual profits are over 100 million for the first time.

The record profits don't mainly reflect effective advertising of course, but are a sign of the increasing struggle facing low-paid people at the end of every month as wages are held down and prices continue to soar.

The thousands of percent interest charged on these pay day loans only serve to trap people further into a cycle of debt and poverty.

Upturn for who?

Four out of five adults in the Land of Dreams, the US, spend at least part of their lives in joblessness, near-poverty or reliant on welfare.

And the problem is getting worse rather than better. People aged 35-45 had a 17% risk of encountering poverty from 1969 to 1989; that risk increased to 23% in the period from 1989 to 2009.

This while Obama talks of "rebuilding ladders of opportunity" and heralds an economic upturn.

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In The Socialist 4 September 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Syria: Cameron defeated; Now defeat Tory cuts!

United strike action against the Con-Dems

Don't fall for the shares-for-rights scam

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

When the world economic crisis makes landfall in S Asia


Socialist history

1993: BNP racists forced off Brick Lane


Socialist Party reviews

Police spies and the workers' movement

TV review - MLK: The Assassination Tapes


Socialist Party workplace news

Blacklist defeat - Frank Morris reinstated on Crossrail

Hovis bakers on 7-day strike against massive pay cuts and casualisation

Carers at Future Directions continue their fight

Coventry Unison protest

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Council leader announces 'no bedroom tax evictions this year'

Build partnership in action against austerity

Miliband expected to promise repeal of bedroom tax

NHS: action to improve care

Lift the ban on campaign stalls in Newham, east London

Burston strike school celebrated

London protest against attack on Syria

Bristol TUSC - we're fighting the cuts

Socialism 2013

Help fund the anti-austerity fightback!


 

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