The Socialist 15 May 2019 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook
Rich list thieves
Take the wealth off the super-rich
Billions for them, cuts for us, photo torbakhopper (Creative Commons) (Click to enlarge)
Lindsey Morgan, Leicester West Socialist Party
The top 1,000 wealthiest individuals and families in Britain are sitting on a record £771.3 billion, up £47.8 billion in a year. This astonishing fact is in this year's Sunday Times Rich List.
At the same time millions of children from working families are living in poverty, more than a third of babies are living below the poverty line, and workers up and down the country are engaged in battles against poverty pay. The accumulated hoarded wealth of the super-rich, stolen from the value created by workers' labour, is beyond unfair.
It is clear that wealth isn't 'trickling down'. In fact, the working class is forced to fight for the scraps from the bosses' table. This is why we need the Tories out!
Under the headline 'Age of uncertainty rattles the super-rich', the Sunday Times details conversations with Rich List grandees. They say the election of Corbyn as prime minister would lead to 'Corbygeddon' - and that some are taking steps to move wealth abroad.
The Times has long been the mouthpiece of the capitalist class. Even the positive but relatively limited demands that Corbyn has proposed have rattled the wealthy.
In response to the Rich List Corbyn has proposed that the top 1,000 should declare the tax they pay. This is a welcome proposal that would enable deeper scrutiny of the wealth of the richest, and would impact the ability of HM Revenue and Customs to allow so-called 'sweetheart deals' through which the capitalist class avoids paying high rates of taxation.
In research conducted for the PCS union the tax gap equates to a loss of £120 billion a year to the government. To reclaim this could be a huge step forward. A higher tax rate, as proposed by Labour, would also be positive.
But faced with the prospect of paying higher taxes, many bosses will move their wealth abroad. This is why we need to fight for a general election and for a Corbyn-led anti-austerity government, but with socialist policies that include nationalising the banks and major corporations that dominate the economy. We can't control what we don't own.
Wealth inequality is a fact of capitalism. Measures to narrow the gap through reform are seriously limited without mass working-class struggle to fight for more. This wealth that has been stolen from workers can only be won back long term by the organised working class.
We need to unite, strike, and fight together for the socialist transformation of society where big business is owned and democratically planned for all. It is the only true end to the obscenity of wealth inequality here and abroad.