Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/766/16733
Them & Us
MPs' pay rise
£65,738 a year basic salary just isn't enough for our MPs. Not to mention their infamous expenses. The body that decides these things thinks they've been working so hard that they should receive a pay rise of anywhere up to £20,000 a year.
That's despite the fact that the average wage for the rest of us is £26,500 and the public sector is still in the middle of a pay freeze, with an offer of a 1% increase after that.
If all politicians followed the example of past Socialist Party MPs and councillors who have only taken the average wage of the people they represent, they'd no doubt think twice about such a measly pay offer for public service workers.
More of the same
When looking for a new health advisor, you might think the prime minister would look for an experienced doctor or nurse who understands the important role of the NHS in looking after the nation's health and wellbeing. You'd be wrong. The latest appointee at Downing Street is Nick Seddon.
Seddon has previously worked for think tank Reform (with corporate donors including drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline) and for private healthcare company Circle.
In 2010 he said that while health should be mainly funded by government it should be "organised outside of government, by insurance companies and other organisations."
No prizes for guessing if he'll be a voice of opposition to Cameron's deadly plans for the NHS.
Workers in Britain are feeling under more pressure at work than at any other time over the past 20 years, the Skills and Employment Survey has found.
And for the first time, public sector workers are under more stress than those in the private sector.
It's no wonder job related stress is on the rise and job satisfaction is going the opposite way, given the threat of unemployment, job cuts meaning an increase in workload, and the pressure to meet targets and deadlines.
The American Dream
Many of the cuts being made and measures introduced by the Con-Dems are widely recognised to be taking us further down the 'American road' - private companies in the health service and no nationally agreed standards in public services for example.
And the consequences are replicating the situation across the pond as well, with the rise of food banks providing emergency food for the poorest.
In the US one in seven live in poverty, 47 million are reliant on food stamps and six million use food banks.
The insanity of the government's lack of action to tackle the housing crisis just keeps becoming clearer. £2 billion has been spent over four years providing emergency accommodation for homeless families, many who have been priced out by sky-high private rents.
And the cost isn't just financial. Families and communities are being destroyed. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has revealed that councils have moved nearly 11,000 families to different areas in the last financial year alone, and the rate is continuing to rise.
Most of these have been moved further out of London, some out of the capital altogether. This class cleansing has to stop.
In The Socialist 22 May 2013:
Fight the bedroom tax
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