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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 April 2008

News in brief

Solidarity call

CIVIL SERVANTS union PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka has called for trade unionists to pile pressure on the Labour government later this month. The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has made the first move in what must be a generalised attack on the Brown administration's public-sector pay policy, he told a meeting in Plymouth.

Mark is pushing for sections of his union to take strike action on 24 April, the day of the NUT national strike. Mark urged every trade unionist to support strikers on the picket lines and "make it clear we want something to change. That will be a major contribution to building pressure." He was speaking at the launch of a Public Services Alliance for the south-west.

Rob Rooney

Tax attack

THE TREASURY Select Committee of MPs has attacked the abolition of the lowest, 10%, rate of income tax. From 1 April this year, many of Britain's lowest paid workers will now have to pay 20% of their taxable income instead of 10%.

Standard income tax has gone down from 22% to 20% but the lowest rate of income tax has gone. Many workers earning under 18,500 a year will lose out, some by as much as 232 a year, particularly households without children or those over the age of 65.

Some MPs think Brown's last budget as Chancellor opted for a 2p headline tax cut and paid for it with attacks on the living standards of the low-paid. Even some Labour MPs are critical of this ratcheting up of class inequalities and are talking of opposing the Finance Bill which confirms the tax changes.

Water rip-off

WATER INDUSTRY regulator Ofwat aims to fine Britain's second biggest water company Severn Trent Water over 35 million (2.9% of total turnover) for deliberately giving false information to its customers.

The company admits misreporting how much water had leaked from its system in 2001-2002. False figures affect customers' bills as Ofwat compares water company performance to fix prices. Previously the company had been fined large sums for exaggerating bad debts to justify inflated price rises for customers.

Since Thatcher's government transferred Britain's water and sewage system totally into the private sector, such companies have had huge powers and huge profits. The costs of this are clear. Our solution? Nationalise the water companies and other privatised utilities under democratic working-class control.

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In The Socialist 9 April 2008:

Perks for MPs - Bonuses for the bosses - Cutbacks for us!


Socialist Party election campaign

London elections: working class alternative needed

Socialist Party: a clear difference from 'free market' policies

Exposing daylight robbery in Lincoln!


Socialist Party workplace news

NUT strike: No more pay cuts!

Defend the 4: Defend democracy in Unison

Unison health conference: Reject the pay sell-out!

Why should workers pay for the crisis?

Tube strike called off after winning concessions

Museum strike in Wales

NUJ conference

News in brief


Socialist Students

Struggle still essential

Get active and fight back!


Post Office closures

Winchester: 'We need our post office'


International socialist news and analysis

Zimbabwe: Mugabe plans to steal election

Olympic Games: Chinese regime fans the flames of protest

Ireland: "The most cunning and devious of them all" finally goes

Israel - Palestinian Land Day demonstration


 

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