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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 June 2014

Them & Us

Debt collectors

Low income families, whose tax credits were incorrectly calculated by the HMRC, are being hounded for overpayments by HMRC-contracted debt collection agencies.

Along with being bombarded with text messages, phone calls and letters demanding repayment, in at least 80 tax credit cases, people's assets have been seized.

Meanwhile, the super-rich and giant corporations continue to avoid paying taxes using legal loopholes left open by millionaire Tory Chancellor George Osborne.


Missing scripts

The Chilcot inquiry into the devastating Iraq war, which has dragged on since 2009, says it will not publish correspondence between George Bush and Tony Blair after a shoddy deal was struck with the current Con-Dem government.

Instead of transcripts revealing how the decision to invade and occupy Iraq in 2003 was concocted, Chilcot will now simply give "the gist" of the Blair/Bush discussions.

Any suggestion of a blatant whitewash is merely the propaganda of lily-livered Bolsheviks.


Save or spend

The Post Office has recently published research showing that the richest 20% of the population in the UK has, on average, a surplus of 18,680 a year to put into their savings while the poorest 20% will spend 1,910 more than they earn.

The Post Office also reckons that the indebtedness of the poorest 20% is set to continue, notwithstanding government claims of an expanding economy.

And, according to housing charity Shelter, millions of people are one pay cheque away from becoming homeless.


Hubble bubble

The bosses' organisation, the CBI, is chiming with Chancellor George Osborne's upbeat message of an expanding UK economy. Presumably this sanguine outlook is based on CBI members' own rising fortunes!

However, this rosy optimism might be short lived if the Bank of England has to increase interest rates to cool down the current housing bubble being fuelled by government policies.


Dope heads

But are the stated increased growth rate figures based on the real economy, or do they include some unsavoury market activities?

According to the Financial Times: "Prostitutes and drug dealers are set to give Britain a 10 billion boost as it revamps the way the economy is measured."

Apparently, the UK isn't the only government to massage (pun intended) the economic figures. Last year the US expanded its definition of investment to include sex and drugs to boost its GDP by 3.6%!


Ab fab

Some reps of the capitalist class may be feeling jittery about their conspicuous consumption (see opposite) while the rest of us are on rations.

But the message of 'caring capitalism' hasn't penetrated all quarters of the super-rich.

Recently, the Evening Standard described a typical fiesta put on to entertain London's well-heeled elite. "A Game of Thrones forest, flocks of pink flamingos, 24,000 peonies and a feast of 800 lobsters".

One banker (their description) described her experience at a garden party: "We were served with our own personal bottle of Dom Perignon on arrival.

"There was so much to look at, including a trapeze on which guests were invited to have a go. It was fabulous, albeit a little bizarre."

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In The Socialist 4 June 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Workers can win: Victory for $15 campaign in Seattle

Enough of 'all the same' capitalist politics!

TUSC: Next steps building political voice for workers

Inclusive capitalism? You're having a laugh!

Children handed poverty "life sentence"

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

US: How Seattle won a $15 minimum wage

Ireland: Electoral surge against austerity


Socialist Party workplace news

"Enough is enough!" - 1.5m could strike over pay

NHS: We demand a living wage!

Come to NSSN conference!

Unite conference: Fighting policies needed

UCU: Members losing patience with leadership

PCS-Unite merger: Will it strengthen our fightback?

Leeds unions prepare for action

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Bakers' Union interview: "We can stop race to bottom"

Stevenage: March against the far-right, racist EDL

Rhydyfelin library occupied by protesters


Readers' comments

NHS: Night shift and a cold rage


Building the Socialist Party

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Plan now for the fundraising collectathon

'Join the socialists' week of action

Successful building in east London

Rapid recruitment in Plymouth


 

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