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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 February 2015

Them & Us

Monopoly money

With daily revelations of tax dodging scams by the super-rich it's of little wonder then that millionaire Tory Chancellor George Osborne is keeping a low profile. Not least because of the latest expose of fat cat private equity bosses who are avoiding up to 700 million a year in tax - using a loophole which Osborne repeatedly failed to close.

The 'Mayfair tax loophole' scam allows them to treat profits as investment gains instead of personal income, thereby paying capital gains tax at 28% instead of the higher 45% rate of income tax. The 28% can be further reduced to just 10% by using another tax break designed to help 'entrepreneurs'.

Campaign group 38 Degrees has also found out that 16 of these millionaire executives belong to the elite 'Leaders Group' of major Tory donors, having given over 7 million to the party since 2008.


Housing failure

As widely predicted, the iniquitous government-imposed 'Bedroom Tax', apart from destroying people's lives, has resulted in 1,500 multi-bedroomed homes left vacant and lost councils 20 million in rent.

These properties are vacant because the tax has slashed people's housing benefit making larger family homes unaffordable.


Soaring evictions

According to the Ministry of Justice, 42,000 homes were repossessed by landlords in England and Wales during the year - 115 a day. This was the highest figure since records began in 2000.


Interesting times


MP for hire

Before the latest outing of Labour's Jack Straw as an MP for hire, the former foreign secretary had become a 12,500-a-year advisor to the Eurasian Council on Foreign Affairs set up by the Kazakhstan dictatorship of Nursultan Nazerbayev. This regime was responsible for massacring striking oil workers in Zhanaozen in 2011.


Subsidising landlords


Taking the pee

Did you hear the one about the Labour shadow cabinet meeting? It had been a long day and shadow chancellor Ed Balls gets up and says he is going to spend a penny. Ed Miliband looks worried and asks if he can wait till the new financial year!

Thanks to Pete McNally

What we saw

"Rats in the mess room, what are you gonna do?"

(With acknowledgement to UB40)

Exxon Fawley workers protesting over their working conditions

Exxon Fawley workers protesting over their working conditions   (Click to enlarge)

Workers at the Exxon Fawley site, near Southampton, have no hot water, heating or toilets in the mess rooms, but plenty of rats! Talks with management have delivered nothing so Unite union members recently massed at the gate with their own inflatable rat.

"What kind of world are we living in when we're asked to work under these conditions in the 21st century?" the Fawley workers demanded to know.

It was suggested that the biggest rat at Exxon is the chief executive on $28 million a year!

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In The Socialist 25 February 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Kick out corrupt politicians

End the housing crisis!

Councils at breaking point: the strategy to fight back

Put the bankers in the stocks!

Defend the right to protest

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

May Day greetings: Implacable resolve of lowest paid

Nine-fold growth for Grimsby Socialists

Campaign news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Syriza at a crossroad

Ireland: five anti-water charges protesters jailed


2015 elections

Bristol Greens back 'shocking' austerity policies

Warrington 'vanity project' youth service cuts

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Election appeal: Funded by you - not by big business


Socialist Party workplace news

Left scares Usdaw leadership in elections

Unison activists challenge New Labour

Socialists in Unison call for solidarity with PCS

How to strike against privatisation


Reviews and readers' comments

When women's solidarity won battle for trawlermen

Worse off than our parents

Fight tuition fees - support the TUSC alternative

TV football deal: Reclaim the game for the fans


Socialist history

50 years on: the assassination of Malcolm X


 

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