Photo: Jonathan Palombo/CC
Photo: Jonathan Palombo/CC

Mihaela Ivanova, Tower Hamlets Socialist Party

Working-class people have been hit the hardest by the cost-of-living crisis, with many struggling to meet their most basic necessities, living paycheque to paycheque.

Families that had previously been able to afford to go on holiday might not be able to so today and in the uncertain future. As the growing cost of transport, accommodation, sightseeing and food expenses rise, the idea of a cheaper ‘staycation’ also seems to be in steady decline.

Seaside towns have become over-run with more than 300,000 short-term let properties available across holiday let sites such as AirBnb. For working-class people in these towns, this has worsened a crippling housing crisis.

The British transport network is made up of a messy patchwork of companies competing to make the most profits possible. Rail companies continually cut funding for transport infrastructure, shut down ticket stations across the country, and attack rail workers’ working conditions and pay. But its not just them. P&O Ferries fired and rehired workers on worse terms and conditions in 2022. Airport staff at Heathrow, members of Unite the Union, have won strike ballots over outsourcing plans. And British Airways cabin crew have taken strike action over poverty pay.

This is all happening while bosses continue to give themselves a pat on the back and bonuses, like that of Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary and his £86 million bonus paycheque. All while cancellations continue and flight prices are set to increase by 10% this summer due to malfunctions and a shortage of planes.

Publicly owned transport network

We are in the ‘perfect storm’ of privatisation as fares and ticket prices are higher than they have ever been, yet delays and cancellations are also at a record high!

That is why the Socialist Party campaigns for a fully nationalised, democratically planned, public transport system, with compensation only on the basis of proven need.

The necessity for an integrated public transport system is clear. With the cost-of-living crisis affecting every aspect of life, we must take trade-union backed action to fight against the cuts to our public services, and call for the nationalisation of all vital parts of the economy, to be able to democratically plan and manage our resources. This would include the once-nationalised holiday industry – including airports, airlines and hotel chains – to give access to leisure to all. We could democratically plan the economy on the basis of need instead of profit to deliver a decent standard of living for all, including the need to have an affordable, environmentally sustainable holiday.