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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 May 2008

Them and Us: The great divide

IN SPAIN it was 76%, in Italy, France and Germany it was over 80%. That was the percentage of people who told a Financial Times/Harris poll that the gap between rich and poor is too wide.

It was much the same in every country where the question was posed.

The percentage of people saying they expected the gap between rich and poor to widen in the next five years was even bigger. Even in Japan, previously slightly more egalitarian in incomes, over 80% believed the answer was yes.

Clear majorities in all countries agree that taxes should be raised for the rich and reduced for the lowest-paid. 74% of respondents in Britain thought those on lower incomes should pay less tax. That shows what an error Gordon Brown made by the original decision to abolish the 10p in the income tax rate.

Debt-ridden of Tunbridge Wells

"MIDDLE CLASS debt epidemic", screamed the Daily Mail on 19 May. True, it has been wailing this tune for years but the credit crunch and other capitalist woes are certainly hitting more people in affluent areas.

Citizens Advice Bureaux in the Tunbridge Wells area have seen a 233% rise in people seeking help over the last year.

Whether they consider themselves working class or middle class, people in jobs like teaching, IT support consultants etc., many of them homeowners, are struggling with mortgages, loans and credit card debt.

Many are pushed over the edge by dearer credit and big increases in food and utility prices.

The credit crunch is already giving many people an object lesson in the reality of life for most people in a capitalist crisis.

Banking on higher charges

THE BANKS are trying to lessen the credit crunch's impact on their profits by making their customers pay far more for everyday banking services.

After the Bank of England reduced the base lending rate by 0.5% in April, the banks charged far more for overdrafts, mortgages and credit cards.

Halifax not only cut the rate of interest it paid customers on high interest accounts by 1%, they massively jacked up the overdraft rate for their customers.

The Socialist Party's call for banks to be nationalised under democratic control and management will soon become very popular.

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In The Socialist 21 May 2008:

Step Up Fight Against Low Pay!

Force more u-turns out of this weak government


Housing crisis

Build Affordable Homes Now!


Socialist Party workplace news

Unison members say 'no' to witch hunt

Reasons to be cheerful about the trade unions

Public-sector workers say pay up!

National Shop Stewards Network second conference advert


Socialist Party campaigns

Give us back our Post Office!

Fightback saves Cardiff school

Southampton students: 'Don't gag us'

D-I-V-O-R-C-E

Glasgow: BNP not welcome here

100% rise for health bosses

Global food crisis

Them and Us: The great divide


Environment: Nuclear power

Nuclear industry's 'green' camouflage


London Olympics

London Olympics 2012: A great sporting occasion and a great profit-making opportunity


France 1968 - month of revolution

France 1968: Be realistic - demand the impossible!

International discussion on the way forward for socialists

Video: 'France 1968, month of revolution' London meeting

Campaign for a New Workers' Party conference


International socialist news and analysis

China: Earthquake disaster exposes regime's failings

Lebanon: Hezbollah routs pro-US Siniora government forces

Ireland: Vote no to Lisbon Treaty and EU militarisation!

France: Workers and youth resist Sarkozy's attacks


 

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