The Socialist 11 October 2017 |
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Them & Us
Them and us fishes, photo Suzanne Beishon (Click to enlarge)
Unelected peers have claimed nearly £1.3 million - despite not speaking for a full year.
One in seven made no contribution in the 2016-17 parliament. Nonetheless, these 115 lordly leeches took an average of £11,091 each, according to Electoral Reform Society analysis.
Top offender Professor John Laird voted only twice. It seems he needed £48,000 in expenses to fulfil these duties. That's almost one average annual salary per vote.
Baron Laird, an ex-Ulster Unionist, has form. In 2013, sting operations alleged that he and two Labour peers offered to represent businesses in parliament for private gain.
House of Lords Scotch whiskey baize booze, photo comedy_nose (Creative Commons (Click to enlarge)
... young workers' debt
Meanwhile, half of young workers have to borrow money to make it to the next payday.
Among women aged 18 to 30, some 51% often need loans to cover the gap. Among men it's almost as bad: 45% don't earn enough, says a Young Women's Trust survey.
Lords and MPs on bloated salaries have defended the bosses' regime of poverty pay long enough. Abolish the lords, put MPs on a worker's wage - and bring in a £10 an hour minimum wage without exemptions!
Bank v 'populism'...
Even the bankers are starting to sweat about international ire against inequality.
A new report by US multinational Citigroup frets that "the long-held belief that there is a fundamental trade-off between inequality and prosperity is under attack.
"This is in part because the mechanism underlying that belief - those all-powerful incentives that would propel societies to prosperity - have often failed."
'Inequality and prosperity in the industrialized world' goes on to worry that "problems in political representation can constitute an opportunity for those outside the political 'establishment'." It fears "the rise of populist political movements."
... banks v migrants
The Tories have ordered banks to run immigration checks on their account holders from next year.
It's the latest part of Theresa May's campaign to make Britain a "hostile environment" for people born elsewhere. So far, not a peep from the banks opposing this right-populist posturing.
This follows May's notorious "go home" vans in 2013. And her support for the Remain campaign, led by Tories and Labour right-wingers promising to attack migrant rights within the EU.
It's not clear how quarterly checks on Britain's 70 million current accounts would achieve anything. What is clear is that May's party is eating itself, so is trying to rally reactionaries and divide workers.
Airbnb tax dodger
Airbnb revenue - £131m
- Estimate of 2016 UK income - £657m hosts' rent at a 20% fee