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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 September 2017

Defuse the consumer debt time bomb: nationalise the banks!

Take the wealth off the 1% - nationalise the banks! photo Paul Mattsson

Take the wealth off the 1% - nationalise the banks! photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Laurence Maples, Lambeth Socialist Party

Still recovering from the last crisis? Hold on to your wallet, Britain's bankers are storing up another one.

The Financial Conduct Authority has urged the government to tackle the explosion in consumer debt, now standing at £200 billion.

When even the fat cats are saying it, you can be sure the problem is serious. MPs have also highlighted the extent of the crisis, demanding an inquiry.

Nominal consumer debt has risen 24% in five years, increasing by a staggering 10% last year. At the same time, mortgage debt has increased by 10% - and student debt has risen by 114%, now at over £100 billion, due to the increase in tuition fees.

A rise in interest rates or increase in unemployment could bring this house of cards crashing down, with devastating effects for working class people.

Meanwhile, incomes have flatlined and in many cases fallen, so 8.3 million people now have problem debts.

Workers in the gig economy and on zero-hour contracts are forced to borrow for essentials, as their incomes can fall short of their needs at any time.

Predatory payday lenders make a killing as workers' debts grow and grow. Scandalously, local authorities chasing council tax arrears are often the most aggressive debt collectors, sending bailiffs round at the first opportunity and loading debtors with the cost.

All of this amounts to a looming crisis for working class people, potentially hit by a toxic cocktail of banks, payday lenders, councils, car dealerships, utilities companies and others demanding payments.

End this madness now. The Socialist Party demands:

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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 20 September 2017:


Socialist Students

Fight tuition fees

Why do young people need socialism?


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Refreshing, anticapitalist - but little pointing a way forward

Interview: the "socialist John Le Carré"

The Socialist Inbox


What we think

Labour conference: Corbyn's support must be used to defeat Blairites


International socialist news and analysis

Brutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis


Socialist Party news and analysis

Grenfell inquiry begins: not sufficient, not trusted

Strike to save our NHS!

Fight expansion of disastrous 'Universal Credit' welfare system

Defuse the consumer debt time bomb: nationalise the banks!


Workplace news and analysis

Deal concludes Barts health strike - "We have raised our heads high"

Bin workers vote to continue action following rally

CWU strike ballot - why I'm voting Yes

Fight university's 'sackers' charter'

McStrike solidarity event

London Buses safety campaign


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Protest to pressure Labour to scrap Haringey redevelopment plans

Fight for an alternative to the misery of capitalism

Tragic death highlights Chatsworth ward closure risk

East London summit fails to address housing crisis

Interest at Nottingham Green festival


 

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