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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 April 2013

Times Rich List: Super-rich get richer ... again

The Sunday Times Rich List is always a sickening read. A who's-who of Britain and Ireland's biggest exploiters, heirs and speculators - scroungers of the worst kind.

This year these fat cats' combined wealth amounts to almost 450 billion. That's an increase of more than 35 billion from last year, and is nearly ten times the joint fortune of those who made the first list in 1989.

Topping this year's list is Russian iron ore tycoon Alisher Usmanov with 13.3 billion. His wealth alone would be enough to cover the extra 10 billion welfare cuts that George Osborne announced at the end of 2012, the 2.5 billion cuts he announced in his March budget and the 'savings' expected from the bedroom tax.

Other high fliers include the Duke of Westminster with 7.8 billion made from property, Virgin's Richard Branson with 3.5 billion and tax avoiding retail boss Philip Green and his wife with 3.8 billion.

So the rich get richer again. Surely then, this wealth must have 'trickled down'. What's good for them is good for the economy and so good for the rest of us. Or not.

Unemployment

Unemployment in the UK increased by 70,000 in the three months to February. A big factor behind the rise was that those previously 'economically inactive' (mainly stay-at-home mothers) have been forced to look for work because of cuts to welfare. The number of young people out of work rose by 20,000.

At the same time average wages were up just 0.8% in comparison to prices rising by 3.3% - meaning most people can afford less with their income, an effective pay cut.

Even the usually austerity-loving International Monetary Fund recently had to point out to the Con-Dems that 'Plan A' isn't working.

Enriching the super-rich by helping them drive down wages and conditions and avoid tax isn't leading to growth of us because they're not even investing it - 850 billion is sitting idle in the UK accounts of big business.

The Socialist Party calls for an immediate one-off 50% levy on this hoarded cash. We say take the wealth off the 1% and use it for jobs, homes and services for the 99%.

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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.
  • 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 24 April 2013:


Anti-bedroom tax

Stop the bedroom tax - Hands off our homes!

Organise to bin the bedroom tax

Waltham Forest victims of bedroom tax are 'up for a fight'


Socialist Party NHS news and campaigns

Stafford hospital: Massive march in support of NHS

United show of opposition to NHS cuts in Dewsbury

NHS: What we say


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Workers and Socialist Party


Socialist Party news and analysis

Break with Thatcher's legacy! - Socialist policies needed

Stop Gove hacking our school hols

Times Rich List: Super-rich get richer ... again

Why we're standing against cuts

20 years after murder of Stephen Lawrence

Scottish TUC supports 24-hour general strike against austerity

Edmund Schluessel elected to NUS executive

Caste discrimination: MPs side with oppressors not oppressed

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

Unite - build a fighting union

Angry workers protest outside Ford's UK headquarters

The battle goes on at Thera

Usdaw: End the partnership!

Workplace news in brief


The Socialist; readers' comments

Cold, hungry, young and homeless

Responding to distortions about Liverpool's socialist council


May Day

May Day 8-page greetings supplement


 

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Related links:

Rich:

triangleTower Hamlets Labour backs Tory cuts

triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party

triangleWealth chasm widens

triangleJohnson's G7 hypocrisy

triangleNo trust in billionaire owners - kick them out and reclaim the game

Super-rich:

triangleWhy I'm standing for TUSC

triangleNot a budget for the working class!

triangleMake the super-rich pay, not the poorest

triangleSuper-rich tax evasion costs 34 million nurses worldwide

Cuts:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Flooding, homelessness, cuts... Walthamstow needs a re-set - what's the socialist plan?

triangleGovernment departments move to impose pay cuts

triangleDagenham school workers strike against 'fire and rehire' pay cuts

Tax:

triangleTerry Fields MP, Prisoner DV 3695 - The jailing of 'poll tax' rebel and Militant

triangleBirmingham Clean Air Zone a tax on the poor

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