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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 December 2009

Fast news

Poverty report

Talk is cheap, especially if you happen to be the PM, Gordon Brown. For all the Labour government's spin on tackling poverty, it has actually been rising since 2004 according to an authoritative study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The report shows that poverty, unemployment and property repossessions all started to rise during the first half of the decade.

Some 13.4 million people live in low income households - defined as households earning less than 60% of the national average, the same level as in 2000. And the number of very poor households earning less than 40% of the average is at its highest level for 25 years, at 5.7 million.

Two million children lived in low income, working households - the highest figure since the Foundation started collecting records. The report's author, Peter Kenway, points to the impact of 30 years of long-term unemployment and chronic levels of low pay as contributing to widespread poverty.

Fight redundancies

Socialists were out in Coventry on 5 December campaigning against the closure of the Ericsson Research and Development facility at Ansty, which will mean the loss of at least 700 jobs.

Coventry has already seen a complete decimation of its manufacturing jobs with the closure of Massey Fergusons and Peugeot, to name just two major employers in the city.

In the last few weeks hundreds of ordinary people have signed the petition which demands "government action to defend the jobs of these skilled manufacturing workers and to provide a future for our youth."

Socialist Party councillor Rob Windsor, who represents the St Michael's ward of the city, was one of those collecting signatures: "It's simple really, the government should step in and nationalise Ericsson, bringing it under public ownership - why is that the bankers with their obscene bonuses get bailed out but when workers are losing their jobs New Labour doesn't want to know. How about a bail out for ordinary people, not the bankers?"

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In The Socialist 9 December 2009:

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A present that can last all year - a subscription to The Socialist


 

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