Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 December 2013

Them & Us

Robbery not recovery

When government ministers trumpet an economic recovery they must be referring to the amassed fortunes of the super-rich rather than the other 99%.

Even the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) think tank, set up by welfare slashing Iain Duncan Smith, warned that his flagship policies of the bedroom tax and universal credit (which the CSJ proposed) could plunge people into more debt.

The CSJ also pointed out that 5,000 people are made homeless each year - unable to pay their rent or mortgage, while average household debt now stands at a staggering 54,000 - double that of a decade ago.

Deeper in debt

It's not just Nigella Lawson's former personal assistants who have been hammering the credit card; unsecured consumer debt has virtually tripled over the last 20 years to 160 billion - the equivalent of 94% of the UK's economic output. Only the Republic of Ireland has a higher ratio of personal debt to GDP within Europe.

Bored MPs

If you thought that fiddling expenses by establishment party MPs was down to good old fashioned greed, then think again. Commons' speaker John Bercow reckons that MPs fiddled their expenses as a "displacement activity" because Parliament had become irrelevant and ineffective ie because MPs are bored!

Only the uncaring would suggest that said MPs become permanently displaced!

Payday misery

Needless to say it's the poorest that are bearing the brunt of the government's austerity measures. Essential household bills have rocketed by 27% since 2007, with one in six payday loans now being used to cover them. This has generated an annual 4.8 billion market for rip-off payday lenders.

Going hungry

An estimated 500,000 plus households have been forced to rely on food banks to survive. Charities estimate that one in five of the population have gone hungry this year because they can't afford to buy a meal.

Worst pension

The UK's state pension is one of the worst in the developed world according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Out of the 34 countries in the OECD bloc, only Mexico's state pension fares worse than the UK's.

Here, a worker on average pay can expect a pension worth only 32.6% of final pay when they retire, compared to an OECD average of 54.4%. "With the legislated increases in retirement age to 67 for both men and women, expenditure is only expected to increase by 0.5% over the next 40 years to 8.2% of GDP, well below the OECD average of 11.7%", according to the OECD.

Council tax liabilities

Since 1 April 2013, along with the Con-Dems' hated 'bedroom tax', many low income households have been hit hard by the government's council tax benefit cuts. Previously, low income households could obtain full council tax benefit but after the government cut funding by 10% many local authorities, often Labour controlled, have simply imposed this reduction on its poorest residents.

According to a report by False Economy, who surveyed 200 councils, more than 25 people a day, unable to pay council tax bills, were issued with court liability orders between April and September - a 30% increase. Hundreds of thousands of people have been fined and are now threatened with bailiffs as a result.

What we read

American dream?

"The top 1% of incomes are close to full recovery (after the financial crisis) while the bottom 99% have hardly started to recover", says Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 4 December 2013:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Corporate Killers!

Boris - it's the system, stupid

SNP's white paper will not deliver decisive change

We need mass house building

Build action to save our NHS!

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

The fight against low pay in the United States

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Kent: Unions and parents unite against all the cuts

Fracking comes North...

Council uses court against Bedroom Tax victims

Support the fightback in Con-Dems' Dickensian Britain

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

London TUSC groups plan for 2014 elections

Socialist Party workplace news

Save our fire service!

Npower job cuts must be fought!

Universities: second coordinated strike over pay

London University: strike by support staff

Support striking St Mungos workers

Civil service union calls for an end to violence in Jobcentres

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party comments and reviews

Is workfare coming to Morrisons?

Film review: Catching Fire

Why I believe in socialism


Home   |   The Socialist 4 December 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleThem & Us

triangle30 years since the huge anti-poll tax demo... And how mass non-payment of the tax was built

triangleNewham campaign set up against council cuts and tax hikes

triangleLiverpool & District Socialist Party: 30 years ago - How the poll tax was defeated

triangleSalford 'no-cuts' budget includes cuts and tax rises


triangleEngage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleLuton Council sunk by airport investment: fight for funding, not speculation!

triangleHugely significant council workers' strike continues


triangleAct now to cancel Covid crisis rents and debt

triangleLebanon - mass protests cut across sectarian division

triangleNHS debt so high it can't be repaid - so don't pay it!


triangleCapitalism and corruption go hand in hand

triangleBlairite general secretary elected - Starmer's takeover of Labour Party consolidated


triangleSocialist Party & Unison NEC member Hugo Pierre (centre), alongside others, taking part in the 8 August health workers' protests for a 15% pay increase. Photo Sarah SE

Bedroom tax:

triangleSelf-isolation class divide: decent homes for all!


triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Tories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system



Capitalism's 'vaccine war' shows need for socialist cooperation


Labour Party

Labour payouts: unions must discuss political representation



NHS pay: 15% for all now



From first wave to second? Capitalism's Covid failures



What would socialist universities look like?



Huawei: what's behind Johnson's u-turn?



Fight for our livelihoods... Fight for our lives!



Saving the music industry from pandemic and austerity



Luton Council sunk by airport investment: fight for funding, not speculation!


The Socialist

Getting the Socialist over the summer



Fight for the NHS



Tories using pandemic to privatise NHS more


Them & Us

Them & Us



Nationalise Tata Steel to save jobs

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020