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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 June 2015

7K rise for MPs... Peanuts for us!

For workers' MPs on an average worker's wage

MPs are set to get a 10% pay rise, photo Peter Symonds

MPs are set to get a 10% pay rise, photo Peter Symonds   (Click to enlarge)

Scott Jones

"The pay 'rise' I had this year amounts to 10 a month after deductions, which is then offset against my housing benefit and tax credits anyway," says a low-paid adult social care worker. "For MPs to be awarded massive pay rises makes me feel as if I am living in some cruel satire rather than in one of the richest nations on the planet."

Workers and their families are forced to 'debate' how to pay the bills and put food on the table while languishing on pay that's been 'frozen' for years. Meanwhile MPs and the Conservative government debate whether or not its 'appropriate' to accept a 7,000, 10% pay rise. Some reports suggest it could go up by a whopping 19,000 by 2019!

For most people this shouldn't be a debate at all. David Cameron, feeling the anger, has written to the body that sets MPs' pay to oppose it.

Low-paid worker, photo by Paul Mattsson

Low-paid worker, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

However, the Tories' true feelings have been revealed by MPs who have defended the pay rise such as Mark Field. He ridiculously called on MPs to "make a stand" to ensure the pay rise goes ahead. He then insulted the majority of the population by referring to his 67,000 a year job as "lowly paid". So much for their claim to be the party of working people!

Some MPs have claimed they would donate the rise to charity. But they happily take home the full amount at the moment and claim expenses for paperclips and biscuits!

Many also find time to take on second jobs - last year MPs declared earnings of more than 7.4 million on top of their parliamentary salaries.

This is in stark contrast to elected socialists like Kshama Sawant, a city councillor in Seattle. She fought for and won a $15 an hour minimum wage and only takes a quarter of the $120,000 she is entitled to. The rest goes to assist workers in struggle. Likewise Dave Nellist, chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. As an MP between 1983 and 1992 he only kept a third of his wage.

These examples show the need for working class representatives rooted in their community and the trade unions, who support workers fighting for proper pay. Join the Socialist Party to help build this alternative.

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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 10 June 2015:

Socialist Party news and analysis

7K rise for MPs... Peanuts for us!

Strikes and bold campaigning can beat academy plans

Coulson case collapses amid stench of hypocrisy

Fifa scandals - a rottenness based on corporate greed

Fight devastating spending cuts

Royal Mail sell-off: Public service, not private profit

Can Corbyn's left challenge succeed?

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Crunch time for Syriza?

900 attend rally to re-elect Kshama Sawant!

Socialist Party feature

No to a capitalist EU, Yes to a socialist Europe!

Socialist Party workplace news

Fight austerity! Fight anti-union laws!

Council cancels facility time to pave way for cuts

Gains for left in Unison elections

'Clear fighting strategy' needed for council workers

RMT strikes for unfairly sacked train guard

Bakers' union debates political representation

Striking porters 'a hundred times stronger'

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

'Promising futures' wasted by cuts

Join TUSC on the march against austerity

Newcastle demo sets a striking tone

Leeds TUSC calls for not-for-profit letting agency

Protesters tell Labour councils to fight Tory cuts

Warrington TUSC

Readers' comments and reviews

This Skype is the limit!

1945 - when Britain said no to Churchill

'Socialism is the only way to stop austerity and poverty'


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