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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 September 2017

Them & Us

Them and us fishes, photo Suzanne Beishon

Them and us fishes, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

2.5bn for landlords...

Rogue landlords in England get 2.5 billion a year from the government. Owners of unsafe or substandard private rental homes make the sum on housing benefit paid to struggling tenants.

The total cost of this landlord handout - including non-rogue landlords - has leapt 4 billion since 2010. On average, private landlords are squeezing 22% more rent from us than when the Tories came to power.

... 1.4m slums for us

And how many of these shoddy pads are we forced to put up with? 1.4 million - 29% of all private rentals. Even in social housing, cutter councils have let 525,000 homes slip below decency standards.

Meanwhile, central government is trying to block even very limited landlord licensing schemes. And both Tory and Blairite local authorities continue to sell off council homes.


Network Rail overground railway train Train Photos (Creative Commons), photo Train Photos (Creative Commons)

Network Rail overground railway train Train Photos (Creative Commons), photo Train Photos (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

50bn for train firms...

Privatised train firms suck up 50 billion more than nationalised rail, according to a new accountancy study.

Massive inefficiencies include bureaucracy in a fragmented system, costlier carriage leasing and track upgrades - and, of course, private profit.

Dividends alone - never mind executive salaries and clever accounting - registered 228 million in 2015-16.

... -2,888 for us

But prices for us are going up 3.6% - to an average of 2,888 for a season ticket, says Labour. The latest outrageous hike is in line with 'RPI' inflation - while average wage growth is only 2%.

That's yet another real-terms pay cut for austerity Britain - meaning more money for the bosses.


Uni boss's digs...

A vice chancellor who earns 227,000 a year says his uni should pay for his house.

Craig Mahoney, head of the University of West Scotland, said: "I can't do my job properly because I'm not provided with a house.

"My job involves a lot of entertaining."

... students' debt

Meanwhile the poorest students in England will leave with 57,000 debt - that's 14,000 more than wealthier students.

Students in the bottom 40% of household incomes have higher costs than those in the top 30%.

Why? The Blairites introduced fees, the Liberal Democrats tripled them, and the Tories replaced the living grant with an interest-making loan.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 6 September 2017:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight council cuts - back the Brum bin strikers!

Historic McStrike: if we don't get it, shut it down!

Problem gambling soars by 33%

UN slams Tories for disabled rights ruin

Them & Us


What we think

Tories weak: time for the TUC to act


Schools and teaching

Schools and teaching: A perfect storm of cuts, underfunding, excessive workloads and low pay


Socialist Party workplace news

Strike together for better pay

RMT fighting for passenger safety, accessibility and security

Merseyrail strike over safety: Labour mayor and councillors must reverse their decision

Three week Argos strike ends

Fawley refinery canteen strikers tell their employer: "pay up"

College workers ballot for action in Nottingham


International socialist news and analysis

Hurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism

Extreme weather events and global warming


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Determined protest against Chatsworth Ward closure

Young people are searching for an alternative - find it at Socialism 2017

Huddersfield A&E closure goes to judicial review

Three thousand attend Burston strike commemoration rally

Bristol's Labour mayor calls anti-austerity march - now stop making cuts!

Demonstrators see off far-right in Keighley

Anti-fracking campaigners' legal fight


Socialist Party comments and reviews

How the Single Market blocks socialist policies

Bosses' pensions robbery

Magic money tree

Warts-and-all account of class war and the struggle for LGBT+ rights

'Let the producers of wealth unite - and what can withstand them?'


 

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