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Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/583/7429

From The Socialist newspaper, 10 June 2009

News in brief

Compulsion

AN 'OVERSIGHT', a 'mistake' or being 'badly advised' are the typical lame excuses offered by expenses grabbing MPs. Now, however, Manchester Gorton Labour MP, Gerald Kaufman, has trumped the excuses league table. He blames his outrageous expenses claims (a pair of Waterford crystal bowls and an 8,865 TV) on being afflicted with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Poor old Gerald, he simply couldn't stop himself ripping us off. Clearly, he doesn't need opprobrium but our help.

Tax avoidance

RECENTLY, THE Daily Telegraph urged HM Revenue & Customs to pursue claims of tax avoidance by MPs over their expenses claims. Tax avoidance is something the Telegraph knows a lot about as its owners - the Barclay brothers, Sir Ian and Sir David - are registered as 'non doms', thereby avoiding paying any. Now the brothers are exploiting another tax loophole, allowing their Channel Island based companies to avoid paying VAT on CDs, DVDs and video games sold on the internet. This scam will undermine high street retailers and cut government tax revenues.

Another fine mess

IN A bid to avoid 'government interference' from Chancellor Alistair Darling's multi-billion bailout package for the banking industry, Barclays - the UK's third biggest bank - turned instead to the Abu Dhabi royal family, owners of the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and Manchester City FC.

Offered extremely lucrative returns compared to other investors, IPIC bought 4.75 billion worth of Barclay's shares only to sell 3.5 billion worth a few months later, netting the company a cool 2.5 billion profit and causing Barclays shares to plummet 13%. Other sovereign wealth fund investors may also pull the plug on Barclays.

Having screwed up its investments Barclays managers are making workers pay by announcing 1,550 job losses.

Vandals

LDV VANS looks doomed after private equity company Weststar pulled out of a rescue plan, leaving 850 workers unemployed and threatening thousands more jobs in the car components industry. Weststar is hanging around, hoping to pick up LDV at a bargain price now that it's in administration.

Business secretary Peter Mandelson refused a 60 million bridging loan but the cost of closure to the Treasury will be 53 million in unemployment benefits and lost taxes in the first year, while the economy will lose over 200 million of wages, purchases and export revenue.

A delegation by workers to Westminster to ask for a bailout was called off because, scandalously, the Cabinet reshuffle meant no ministers were available to meet them.

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In The Socialist 10 June 2009:

Step up the fight for a new workers' party

A socialist MEP Joe Higgins elected in Ireland

'The best fighter that money can't buy'

STOP PRESS: BNP feel the anger

Youth Fight against Racism


Socialist Party election campaign analysis

No2EU: a step towards a workers' political voice


Socialist Party workplace news

Reinstate Rob Williams now! Support Linamar strikers

London Underground: Solidarity with strike over jobs and pay

Glasgow council street cleaners start workers' fightback

Bristol bins strike threat brings new conditions offer

Unison NEC elections bring gains for Socialist Party

Another DWP minister resigns

Engineering construction workers ballot: End 'race to the bottom'

Come to NSSN conference

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The Masses Arise: The French revolution and today's struggles


International socialist news and analysis

European parliament elections 2009: Europe on the edge

General strike in Basque country

Brazil: "Liberty, Socialism and Revolution" is born


Youth fight for jobs

CWU conference backs Youth Fight for Jobs campaign

No to cuts at Kings

Liverpool Community College strike


 

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