Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/953/25678
From The Socialist newspaper, 21 June 2017
The have-yachts and the have-nots
Trade unions must lead fightback
Monopoly man with axe dancing on money bags, 1% super-rich austerity inequality, photo torbakhopper (Creative Commons) (Click to enlarge)
Simon Carter, East London Socialist Party
Anti-poverty think tank the Resolution Foundation has added to an accumulating body of evidence on the ever-widening wealth gap in Britain.
According to its recent report, just 1% of the population own 14% of the country's wealth (and that's just the declared income and assets of the super-rich) or a mind-blowing £1.6 trillion! Yet the poorest 15% of adults own nothing or have negative wealth because of deepening debt.
Low incomes, combined with pay caps and pay freezes, zero-hours employment, benefit cuts and soaring rents, have all played a part in impoverishing an increasing proportion of adults in Britain.
In addition, the collapse in home ownership among the poorest half of the population since the onset of the financial crash in 2008 has dramatically widened the wealth gap.
Overall, the average wealth of an adult has fallen from £99,000 in 2006-08 to £84,000 in 2012-14 according the Resolution Foundation's report.
As the Socialist previously reported, the richest 1,000 individuals in the UK again saw their total wealth rise - by 14% last year to £658 billion. In contrast, the Trade Union Congress found that between 2007 and 2015, real wages fell by 10.4%, the biggest decline in the developed countries - matched only by Greece.
Little wonder then that the Tories, with their repeated austerity message, lost a parliamentary majority in the general election.
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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 21 June 2017:
Whole establishment exposed for role in Grenfell fire
Organise: justice for Grenfell and safety for all
Massive failings led to Grenfell Tower fire - Rapid, fully funded action now
Anger and grief on moving Grenfell marches
Unions call for action after Grenfell
What we think
Tories and May stagger on amid crisis - get them out!
Finsbury Park attack: No to terror, racism, war and austerity!
International socialist news and analysis
French elections: time to build a fighting left alternative
Socialist Party news and analysis
Kick out the Tories to save the NHS!
Inflation: Workers lose out - time for action
Open University facing huge cuts
The have-yachts and the have-nots
Workplace news and analysis
Jobcentre strike grows in second round of action
BA cabin crew calls two-week walkout over blacklisting accusations
Welsh college strike against crippling workload
Manchester housing maintenance dispute steps up action
Barts Trust NHS workers vote for action over pay
Unison conference: "A sense of change"
Militant mood against college job cuts
NSSN cancels conference to support 'Tories Out' demo
The Pentrich uprising: revolution and counter-revolution in 19th century Britain
Socialist readers' comments and reviews
"Austerity hurts and the only alternative is socialism"
The Socialist Inbox
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Protests around the country demand: Tories out!
Young socialists share ideas at London meeting
The Socialist 21 June 2017 |
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