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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 January 2018

Widening wealth gap, increase in poverty... Make the fat cats pay

We are the 99% - Take the wealth off the 1% Socialist Party placard, photo Paul Mattsson

We are the 99% - Take the wealth off the 1% Socialist Party placard, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Helen Pattison, London Socialist Party

Don't put the party poppers away just yet. There's one last thing to celebrate. Fat Cat Thursday! Well, it's not exactly a celebration if you're working class. In fact its only the super-rich who actually enjoy the event.

Fat Cat Wednesday marks the point on Thursday 4 January when chief executives of FTSE 100, the largest businesses on the London Stock Exchange, will have already 'earnt' the average salary of working people for the whole year. According to research by the High Pay Centre it takes them less than a week to pocket 28,000 median salary in the UK.

It's a stark reminder of the huge void that exists between the living standards of working class people and the tops of society.

Fat Cat Thursday has become an annual event when the inequality of capitalism is really laid bare. How can Theresa May say with a straight face that there is no "magic money tree" for hard-working NHS staff reliant on food banks when in hours these executives have already pocketed thousands?

Inequality

This huge inequality and the driving down of living standards since the 2008 economic crisis is also seriously affecting people's health. 4.6 million people are living in persistent poverty which is contributing to a rise in poverty-related illnesses such as rickets. Asthma is also on the rise, in part due to the number of children living in temporary and poor quality accommodation.

Parents are struggling, with one in five skipping a meal to feed their children over the summer holidays. The right-wing rags have said that Jeremy Corbyn and anti-austerity campaigners want to take us back in time, when in reality its capitalism that's taking us back to the social horrors of the 19th century.

Rather than allowing Fat Cat Thursday to get us down, we should be used as inspiration to fight for a real alternative to capitalism. The wealth is clearly there - it's just hoarded by the super-rich. If that wealth was taken from the 1% it could be democratically planned and used to ensure a decent standard of living for all.

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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.

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In The Socialist 3 January 2018:


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2018: more upheavals loom


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Related links:

Fat cats:

trianglePrivatisers sue NHS - kick out the fat cats and fully nationalise our health service!

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

triangleCare crisis cashing in

triangleTories ensured Carillion meltdown went unchecked

triangleBosses' pay up a fifth while workers' pay falls ...

Wealth gap:

triangleThe have-yachts and the have-nots

triangleFighting the great tax robbery: taxes and regulation or socialist nationalisation?

triangleThem & Us

Wealth:

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

triangleRich get handouts - workers get pay cuts

triangleBail out the real wealth creators, not the rich

Poverty:

trianglePoverty rises again - especially for BAME workers

triangleA timely read about a pandemic that overwhelms society

Pay:

triangleTory NHS betrayal

Inequality:

triangleOver 30% of children living in poverty

Capitalism:

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: The Great Depression - When capitalism crumbled

US:

triangleHong Kong: The fight for democratic rights

Super-rich:

triangle1,600 less benefits if your job goes - while super-rich splash cash

Working class:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Class struggle and the role of the working class in changing society

Rich:

triangleNationalise to save jobs threatened by Covid-19 and downturn

Economic crisis:

triangleConfidence plummets in Tory strategy for Covid-19

Banks:

triangleThem & Us

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