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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 November 2010

Fast news

Crown profits

The government's repeated refrain that 'we're all in it together' when it comes to the pain of its spending cuts has worn very thin with the revelation that the Queen will receive a 15% share of the 6.6 billion Crown Estate property portfolio's profits.

The Crown Estates include a large slice of expensive London's West End property, Ascot racecourse, a 12-nautical mile perimeter around the whole of the UK's coastline, and more besides.

Since 1760 all Crown Estate profits have been paid to the Treasury which then pays the royal family an annual grant (currently frozen at 30 million until 2012). This grant is aside from the 150 million annual cost of security for the royals and their palaces and a further 5.5 million of expenditure which will continue to be funded by the government.

Under the new formula, which starts in 2013, the monarch will scoop an estimated 37.5 million a year, a huge increase in her funds.

Social cleansing

The Con-Dem coalition's cuts in housing and housing benefits will result in massive social cleansing in high rent areas according to the Chartered Institute for Housing.

It predicts that by 2025 rents on the majority of two bedroom housing in southern England will become unaffordable to housing benefit claimants. The Institute also suggests that within 15 years much of London's suburbs will become too expensive for low income families claiming housing benefit.

The government has capped housing benefit to a maximum weekly allowance of 250 a week for a two-bedroom flat. It has also changed the local area rental formula to peg allowances to the bottom third of rents and will now uprate benefits by a lower measure of price inflation.

The head of the Housing Institute said that, contrary to government claims, there is no evidence that cutting housing benefits will make landlords drop the rents they charge tenants.

Outside of London the areas in which claimants will be worst hit by the housing benefit cap include Leeds, with 15,610 losers; Bradford, with 10,470; Liverpool, with 12,620; Manchester, with 10,210; and Brighton and Hove, with 12,550.

Health cuts

More evidence that the NHS is suffering cutbacks, despite the government's pledge to protect health spending, has been provided by the public sector workers' union, Unison.

A survey of 8,000 NHS staff has revealed widespread job losses and cuts in service provision, affecting patient care. Its evidence adds weight to the argument that the NHS budget has not kept pace with inflation and that the 20 billion 'efficiency savings' have badly hit the service.

As well as having to cope with increased workloads due to staff shortages, health workers are suffering a three year pay freeze ie pay cuts.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 11 November 2010:

Socialist Students

9,000 student fees: we won't pay!

No to 9,000 tuition fees: Fight for your future!

Ireland: Largest student protest in a generation

Anti-cuts campaign

Stop the Con-Dems' slave labour scheme

What the capitalist cuts really mean

National Shop Stewards Network: Anti-cuts conference

Socialism 2010

Socialism 2010: An inspirational weekend


Youth Fight for Jobs and Socialist Students conference

Leeds: Stop the closure of Union Books

Goldsmiths students occupy town hall

Socialist Party editorial

London firefighters' dispute: the fight is not over

Massive anger must be organised into coordinated trade union action

Socialist Party workplace news

London tube strike - picket line reports

BBC staff fight for pensions: picket line reports

Protest at law centre closure

Fight the mail centre cuts

Socialist Party news and analysis

Vendetta continues against Tommy Sheridan, socialist fighter

Angry campaigners discuss Stroud fightback

NHS - workers looking for a fighting lead

Fast news

Socialist Party feature

Attacks on disabled people's rights

International socialist news and analysis

Scotland: potential to build a mass movement against cuts

US elections: Bankruptcy of Democrats leads to spectacular fall

Socialist Party review

Review: Call Mr Robeson: A Life, with Songs


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