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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 October 2013

Them & Us

Missing billions

New government figures show that only 3.3 billion a year is paid in UK corporation tax - compared to 14 billion paid in bonuses to top staff.

The government is losing 1 in every 10 due to it from companies through tax avoidance and evasion. The total being uncollected by the government is 35 billion a year (and this doesn't even include the 'profit-sharing' schemes of Amazon, Google and Starbucks). Some of the worst culprits have been revealed...

Stick the Boots in

Chemist chain Boots is using a loophole to avoid 1.1 billion of tax. Unite the Union has pointed out that this could pay for 78,000 nurses, two years of prescription charges or 5.2 million emergency ambulance calls (Boots earns 2.2 billion from prescription medicines and other NHS-funded services).

Wonga rip off

Pay-day loan company Wonga, infamous for its interest rates of nearly 6,000%, has allegedly moved part of its business to Switzerland to avoid millions of pounds of corporation tax.

A similar approach is being taken by Google, which saves itself billions in global taxes by funnelling money through Bermuda and the Netherlands.

Breaking point

The medical director of the NHS in London, Dr Andy Mitchell, has said that health services are at "breaking point".

Echoing a national report which states that hospitals cannot afford a safe level of staffing, Mitchell said the capital's NHS services are "unsafe and unsustainable".

Unfortunately Mitchell and the national report seem to suggest that the solution is to stop trying to have hospitals which provide a fully staffed full range of services.

The Socialist argues the solution is to properly fund all health services as needed and stop draining the NHS budget through privatisation like PFI.

Luxury cars

While the rest of us are struggling to pay for the basics like food and fuel, the super-rich seem to be doing ok.

Sales of luxury cars have continued to rise throughout the recession. Jaguar Land Rover, for example, reported record sales in September and has experienced a 16% rise in sales since last year.

Woldwide deliveries of Bentleys have increased by 9% in the first nine months of the year.

What we heard

Helen, a Lewisham school rep, rang me to update me on support in her school for the strike in London and elsewhere on 17 October.

One colleague (under management pressure) had told her that she had joined the ATL instead of striking. Helen asked her how a history teacher of all people could think we had ever made the gains that we are trying to protect without struggle?

The colleague came to see her the following week: "I thought about what you said. I've rejoined and I'll be on strike on Thursday."

Martin Powell-Davies

Tweets this week

Tony Saunois

Labcons will be tougher on benefits than Tories and not close free schools. Why don't they just merge with the Tories. It would be clearer.

PCS Union

Lowest paid civil servants far more likely to have been targeted for job cuts, @statisticsONS figures show

Ronnie Job

1,200+ in Swansea in arrears due to #BedroomTax Will our Labour council give no evictions pledge to reassure them?

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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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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In The Socialist 16 October 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories' rags and riches Britain; Join the socialist fightback!

Teachers, firefighters, workers fighting back: Unite the strikes!

TUSC: 2014 local elections campaign launched

Immigration Bill: Whipping up racism to cut our services

Council tax benefit cuts hit hard

SSE: So Sodding Expensive!

Fight Tory plans to scrap lifeline for young

Jobcentre staff struggling to cope

'Help to Buy' no solution to housing crisis

Them & Us


Anti-racism

Robinson drops EDL but not his bigotry

Trade union-led anti-racist demo in Liverpool

Bradford anti-EDL protest


Education feature

Why are our schools in crisis?


International socialist news and analysis

Workers and youth re-assert their political voice in South Africa

Sri Lanka - 'No to Chogm' campaign

Refugees perish in Mediterranean "cemetery"


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Join the party for the millions - not the millionaires

Socialism 2013 appeal

Save Kent's children's centres


Socialist Party workplace news

Probation officers to take on 'failing Grayling'

Time for national action on education

Fight the Royal Mail sell-off

Blacklisting victory - now build union strength

Workplace news In Brief


 

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