Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/863/21053
Them & Us
Having screwed Greek workers into the dirt with austerity, it transpires that International Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde pays no taxes on her £300,000 annual salary. She also pays no tax on her £54,000 allowance. Lagarde, helpfully, told impoverished Greek workers to pay their taxes!
Over one million elderly people struggling to cope at home on their own get no help from the national or local government because of funding cuts. Age UK charity estimates that this figure represents an increase of 100,000 since last year.
This lack of care has led to a large increase in unplanned emergency admissions of patients aged over 65 into the NHS - adding to the pressures of a struggling health service.
Over the last decade spending on social care services for older people has plunged by nearly 33% from £8.1 billion in 2005-06 to £5.46 billion in 2014-15.
Community care services have been hardest hit with a massive 25% cut (£560 million) since 2010-11.
Bottled water can be expensive especially if its 'holy water' flown from Jordan and used in the christening of the latest royal sprog. How much this has cost is undisclosed.
However, users of this 'holy water' should beware. The river Jordan is polluted by sewage and industrial effluent!
Over the limit
We've all done it - hit our credit card limit. But not everyone is a rich MP. According to a Freedom of Information act request, 19 MPs had their official credit cards blocked for failing to show that their claimed expenses were valid.
One of the MPs was none other than welfare (cuts) minister, Iain Duncan Smith. Apparently it was all a mistake. So now the Tory millionaire can resume getting into debt while heading the government department which harshly sanctions unemployed claimants' benefits for often the most trivial of reasons.
The latest report by the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has found, surprise, surprise, customers are being ripped off by the big six energy giants.
Examining energy prices between 2009 and 2013 the CMA found that householders were being fleeced £1.2 billion more a year for their energy, while small firms are forking out around £500 million too much a year. No wonder then that millions of people find themselves in 'fuel poverty'.
As usual the banal conclusion of this report is 'customers should shop around' to get a better deal. Here's an alternative, nationalise these money-grubbing companies and lower prices!
In The Socialist 8 July 2015:
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