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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 March 2009

Fast News

Housing crisis

"THE HOUSING crisis is now so great that, unless dramatic action is taken, it may take decades for the nation to recover... we simply have not produced the number of homes we so desperately need." This is the candid admission of the National Housing Federation which represents 1,200 housing associations in England.

It predicts that by 2011 there will be two million people on housing waiting lists. Meanwhile, house building will fall by 50% next year to 70,000, it added.

Clearly, only a crash house building programme of one million homes each year over the next two years can avert the housing crisis. But the government's aversion to council housing and its obsession with the private sector means that the current housing shortfall will not be remedied.

Fred's modest pension

THE UK's most hated banker - Fred 'the shred' Goodwin - sank to a new level of disdain after it was revealed that this former chief of the bankrupt Royal Bank of Scotland got RBS to pay a 2.7 million advance on his vast pension pot of 16.9 million.

It was further revealed that RBS agreed to double Sir Fred's pension on the very weekend it was asking the state for a 20 billion bailout.

Moreover, if RBS had gone bust, Fred would have got a maximum pension of 27,000 a year instead of his current 700,000 annual payout. Having wrecked the bank he should have been prosecuted for economic crimes. He can thank his lucky stars that he only had to deal with the capitalist-doting Brown government.

Barclay's tax avoidance

BARCLAY'S BANK is negotiating with the treasury to get the taxpayer to protect it against losses on potentially 80 billion of 'assets'. Meanwhile, detailed allegations about the bank's tax avoidance schemes have emerged from whistleblowers who said the bank made close to 1 billion profit a year from a series of elaborate deals.

The schemes involved the use of an intricate circuit of offshore Cayman Islands and Luxembourg companies, in deals so complex that HM Revenue and Customs struggles to unravel them.

But when the Guardian published online Barclay's tax documents revealing the tax avoidance schemes, a high court judge imposed a gagging order against the newspaper. This, despite his worshipfulness recognising that 'there is a strong public interest in how the banks go about their business'!

Galloway barred

GEORGE GALLOWAY, the Respect renewal MP and well known campaigner against the western powers' wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, has been banned from entering Canada. Its Conservative government ruled that he is a national security threat! The Canadian government has 3,000 troops in Afghanistan and Canadian PM Stephen Harper has twice extended their deployment.

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In The Socialist 25 March 2009:

Capitalist crisis: Make the bosses pay!

March for jobs!

Map of Youth March for Jobs route

Socialist Party editorial

Tide of job losses must be fought

Socialist Party election campaign

Rail union launches euro election challenge

An appeal from Bob Crow

No2EU Financial Appeal pdf

NO2EU Supporter appeal pdf

Socialist Party campaigns

Students need a mass fighting organisation

Credit crunch hits home

Campaign for a new workers' party

MPs - an honourable profession!

Fast News

Socialist Party feature

The uncaring care sector

Pay for your own vetting

Socialist Party marxist analysis

State repression in Britain

Keeping (illegal) tabs on us

International socialist news and analysis

France: Three million take to the streets in national strike

Canada: "Fighting back makes a difference"

Mass demo in New York against budget cuts

Scotland: International Socialists conference a big step forward

Dundee Prisme occupation: Workers remain defiant

Stop the slaughter of Tamils: London campaign meeting

Socialist Party workplace news

Nom-dom jobs slasher

New allegations hit Unison's right wing

Unison Four to face further hearings

Wales: United battle needed to stop college cuts

Fighting for justice for cleaners!

PCS Land Registry jobs and pay campaign

Workplace news in brief


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