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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 October 2014

Them & Us

Victorian pay

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.


Vested interests

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.


Young scapegoats

'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.


Budget deficit

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.


Carjacking

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.

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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.

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In The Socialist 15 October 2014:


Britain needs a pay rise

Fight for mass action to end cuts and low pay

A socialist world is possible

Mark Serwotka: Building a strong, fighting union


Fight the cuts!

Workers need a new party

How a mass campaign stopped the cuts

Challenging the austerity parties

Barking and Dagenham council at a crossroads


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories and Labour in crisis after Ukip win

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Ireland: Stunning byelection victory for Socialist Party

Obama's strategy to beat IS lies in tatters


Socialist Party workplace news

First NHS pay strike for 30 years

Local government pay: reject offer, reinstate action!

Care UK workers mark 81st strike day

600 St Mungo's housing workers to strike for a week

Recycling workers strike over pay and conditions

Severfields engineers strike against bonus cut


Youth Fight for Jobs

Young workers say: decent jobs now

The myth of 'self-employment'


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

'Political awakening' continues in Scotland

On the road to higher wages

Coventry fans stung by Wasps

Johnson's housing crime scene


Building the Socialist Party

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Related links:

Them & Us:

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US:

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Total:

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NHS:

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Tax:

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MPs:

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Benefits:

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