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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.
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.
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.
In The Socialist 11 November 2010:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review