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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 March 2007

Fast News

Diamond geezer

IT'S ALWAYS a problem knowing what present to give someone who has got it all. The best solution, if the recipient happens to be a rich banker, is to give them even more! Certainly, this appears to be true for Barclays bank boss Bob Diamond.

The head honcho of Barclays investment arm scooped a whopping 23 million last year - made up of a 250,000 salary, a 15 million bonus and 7.7 million in share options. Not bad for someone associated with a bank whose customers are being screwed millions in excess bank account charges.

But Diamond's 23 million, awarded for 2006, pales beside the extra 80 million this banker can reap in future share options and 'reward' schemes. Many people may now talk of a wealth tax and nationalisation of the industry and they are not all socialists (as yet)!

Civil servants' strike

NEARLY 20,000 civil service union PCS members will strike on 30 March. These workers in the Ministry of Defence and the Identity and Passport Service are striking over pay, jobs and conditions.

Workers in the Crown Prosecution Service, Department of Health, Land Registry and the Learning and Skills Council will also be starting a month of action short of a strike on 30 March. This is also over below-inflation pay offers.

All PCS members will be joining in the action short of a strike for a day on 30 March. This will involve nearly 300,000 workers, who will refuse to do paid or unpaid overtime and who will take proper rest and lunch breaks.

Home ownership

HOME OWNERSHIP in England fell last year. There were 14.62 million owner-occupied homes in 2006, 25,000 fewer than the previous year. This is the first break in the growth of home ownership since 1953.

Rocketing house prices are making it hard for many first-time buyers to get on to the 'property ladder'. Fewer people bought a house with a mortgage while the proportion of home ownership, currently 70%, is below the peak of 71% in 2000.

House prices have gone up by 11% a year since 1997, well above average earnings. The rising inequality of income is also pushing up house prices and encouraging private builders to concentrate on building expensive housing for the top end of the market. You cannot trust the private housing market to provide decent, affordable housing options.

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In The Socialist 29 March 2007:

Council workers fight pay cut scandal

The 'Single Status' scandal

Council unions reject 2% pay offer

Fighting cuts and privatisation

Stop council's sell-off plans

Socialist Party NHS campaign

PUSH for mass demo

What we think

A simple conclusion from a 'simplification' budget

Socialist Party news and analysis

Tenants defeat housing sell-off

Universities fail to accept state school pupils

Suffolk: Save our schools

London Olympics: Big business bonanza - and we pay

Fast News

Socialist Party election campaign

For the millions, not the millionaires

Socialist Party feature

Hands off our postal service!

Edinburgh postal workers fight back

Workers' fightback to defend postal services

Northern Ireland agreement

Will the new agreement last?

We Won't Pay anti-water charges demo 31 March

International socialist news and analysis

Italy: What future for Prc?

Turkish state attacks Kurdish protestors

Socialist Party workplace news

Airbus walkout - joint action needed across Europe

Reject regional pay

Determined campaigners win reprieve

Manchester Unity Stewards and activists group

Hants library workers fight cuts

Sacked electricians win tribunal ruling

Ealing workers fight pay cuts


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