Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/829/19514
Them & Us
Real earnings for workers have slumped by a massive 8% between 2007 and 2014 according to the TUC, ahead of its Britain Needs A Pay Rise demo on 18 October. The pay squeeze represents the worst earnings slump since the financial crisis of 1865-67.
Up and away
Meanwhile bosses' pay continues rocketing skywards with a 21% increase last year. Income Data Services says the average total earnings for a top company executive is £2.4 million, while the figure for a chief executive is £3.3 million. Their pay has increased 278% since 2000.
The Unite union says that private healthcare companies linked to Tory politicians have been awarded NHS contracts worth £1.5 billion over the last two years.
Unite reckons that 24 Tory MPs and peers who voted through the government's Health Act, which opens up 80% of the NHS budget to outside tenders, have links with private companies awarded contracts.
'Beating up on the poor' - while dispensing more tax breaks to the super-rich - is a favourite pastime of millionaire Tory MPs like Chancellor George Osborne.
Osborne argues that the working age benefits bill is spiralling out of control because "too many young people... have fallen into a culture of welfare dependency."
True, the welfare bill has increased from 4.5% of GDP (total output) in 1997 to 5.7% today, but the biggest recipients of this £100 billion pot are rip-off private landlords (£17 billion in housing benefit), and low-paying employers (£29 billion in tax credits). Jobseeker's Allowance accounts for less than 5% of the total.
The government could easily reduce the welfare bill through rent caps and substantially raising the minimum wage. Instead, the Con-Dems are aiming to axe another £25 billion (likely to be nearer £38 billion) from public spending to generate a budget surplus by 2018-19.
Hard pressed disability benefit claimants will be demanding to know why the chief executive of not for profit Motability Operations was paid more than £1 million in bonuses and pension benefits alone last year. The company which operates car fleets for disabled people through the Motability charity is owned by the major UK banks.
In The Socialist 15 October 2014:
£££ Britain needs a pay rise
Fight the cuts!
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