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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 July 2015

The corporate welfare state

Photo by Liz West (Creative Commons)

Photo by Liz West (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Chancellor Osborne's savage attack on welfare benefits has been accompanied by Tory propaganda in the right-wing media, accusing low-income families of being part a 'something-for-nothing' culture holding back the country's economic recovery.

But how then does the government explain the 'corporate welfare bill'? Research by Kevin Farnsworth at York University calculates that the grants and subsidies paid directly to companies in 2011-12 amounted to over 14 billion - nearly three times the 5 billion paid out that year in Jobseeker's Allowance.

When other businesses' 'in-work' benefits are included (such as tax benefits, quantitative easing, export guarantees, public procurement from private companies) then direct corporate welfare amounts to a minimum 85 billion a year - a large proportion of the government's total budget deficit.

Unsurprisingly, the super-rich friendly Chancellor has remained tight-lipped about this corporate welfare bill.

Between 2005 and 2011, of 44 companies that received government grants, 13 didn't pay any corporation tax; another 17 didn't pay any corporation tax either the year before or the year of getting their public benefit.

In 2013 Facebook only paid 3,169 in corporation tax; Amazon 10 million (over ten years!); Apple 11 million; Google 11.6 million. At the same time, total UK revenues of the four companies were over 17 billion.

Between 2009 and 2012 Starbucks paid no corporation tax, claiming it had made a loss in these years. In 2011, Starbucks' UK sales amounted to 400 million.

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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 1 July 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Osborne's budget cuts will devastate low-income households

The corporate welfare state

Them & Us

Severely disabled funding hit by Tories

Government reneges on rail modernisation pledge

Warrington TUSC councillor slams 'undemocratic' Labour administration


International socialist news and analysis

Solidarity with Greek workers! Reject EU austerity

Terrorist attacks: working class people pay the price


Socialist Party features

How to fight the anti-union laws

Ten years since the London 7/7 bombings


Socialist Party workplace news

RMT plans transport shutdowns

Britain's biggest union to discuss leaving Labour

Escalate strikes to fight council's 90% sell-off

Scotland ferry 'lifeline' sell-off strike

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Pride: we need politics, not just a parade

9,000 tuition fees legacy - debt and slave labour

Block Osborne's Billionaire Budget

Victory against disabled transport cuts in Derby

Victory for anti-fracking movement

Shirebrook: united campaign against danger of division

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Related links:

Super-rich:

triangleTake the wealth off the super-rich

triangleThem & Us

triangleThem & Us

triangle'Fat Cat Friday' shows where all the money's gone

triangleTories out - we need socialism!

Welfare state:

triangleEven social-care bosses say cuts have gone too far

triangle75,000 kids in foster care - and counting: end cuts and for-profit care

triangleUniversal Credit could trap women in violent relationships

trianglePowerful defence of the welfare state

Welfare:

triangleEnd Tory cold cruelty: life under austerity in Merthyr

triangleTories out. Scrap Universal Credit. Fight for living wages and welfare!

triangleRobbing the working class

State:

triangleChinese state's imposition of draconian law reignites Hong Kong protests

triangleTory think tank proposes attack on pensions

Tax:

triangle30 years since the huge anti-poll tax demo... And how mass non-payment of the tax was built

Benefits:

triangleUniversal Basic Income: not a solution to insecurity and poverty under capitalism

Starbucks:

triangleUS: How Seattle won a $15 minimum wage

Rich:

triangleRich get handouts - workers get pay cuts

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