Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1072/30200

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 February 2020

6.5 million working poor: Fight to end low pay

Low pay, no way! photo Paul Mattsson

Low pay, no way! photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Nancy Taaffe, Waltham Forest Socialist Party

There are now 6.5 million workers in the UK who are part of the "working poor." There are now more people who are both working and in poverty than people who are officially unemployed. There are more employed people in rent arrears than there are people officially unemployed!

When the BBC screened a new adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol in December, the right-wing press and commentators slammed it.

Perhaps part of this was because the drama had a contemporary theme. It made you feel that Victorian poverty wasn't so very far away from Britain in 2020.

The Conservative Party mantra of "making work pay" is refuted in the lives of over six million people where work is no route out of poverty. Work, for many, has become the modern equivalent of the Victorian workhouse.

Throughout the nineties and noughties, many well-paid, secure jobs were wiped out, in manufacturing, public services and other sectors. In many sectors, such as retail and the caring professions, government subsidies were introduced to mask the scandal of low-paying employers.

Rather than the trade union leaders mobilising workers to fight against low pay, they never did. Well-paid jobs have become scarcer - and government subsidies have all but gone.

Cleaners on the London Overground strike against low pay on 5 April,  photo London Socialist Party

Cleaners on the London Overground strike against low pay on 5 April, photo London Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

To 'make work pay' we need to start by forcing bosses to pay decent wages that reflect the real cost of living. The Socialist Party demands a minimum wage of at least 12 an hour as an immediate step towards 15.

We need cheap and affordable rents through council housing and rent caps, and housing benefit that matches the real cost of housing.

We need our travel expenses to be affordable. We need childcare costs that don't prohibit us from being able to afford to work. We need to cut the working week without a loss of pay and share work out - it's illogical to have some toiling for 70 hours a week while others can't get anything but a part-time job. In short, we need socialist policies.

Just like today, in Dickens' day the bosses' profits boomed. They hoarded and speculated while those who toiled suffered.

Now, as then, we need a militant trade union fightback and a mass party to represent organised workers in the struggle against poverty, low pay and inequality.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 5 February 2020:


News

6.5 million working poor: Fight to end low pay

Labour leadership contest and public ownership

Coronavirus exposes capitalism's weaknesses in healthcare and economy

Record dissatisfaction with democracy: capitalism's dead end

Refuges turn away 64% of women - set no-cuts budgets now!

Grenfell watch: Unions challenge 'mockery of justice'

Them & Us


Rail

Nationalise the railways: For an integrated public transport system

Expensive, overcrowded and unreliable: Renationalise the railways!

Cancel the franchise, not our trains

Will the North get investment and transport infrastructure?


What we think

'Post-Brexit' era of crisis ahead


Workplace news

Huge victory for Bromley library workers after 241 days on indefinite strike!

14 more days of university strikes over pensions, pay and conditions

500 BBC journalists' jobs under threat

Newham council tax workers' pay victory

No to academisation of east London schools!

Ealing tax office workers strike against closure


NHS

Outrageous waiting times will put lives at risk

NHS: Save stroke beds in Coventry and Warwickshire


International

Syria: Assad regime consolidates power after brutal counterrevolution

Israel/Palestine: Trump 'peace plan' promises further conflict


Campaigns

Socialist Party calls anti-austerity protest on Budget Day

Sadiq Khan "out-Tories" himself to defend tech firms' tax bonanza

Socialist Sellers

Reading Labour council: Stop privatising our leisure services

The rich fund the Tories and Blairites, so help fund the working-class fightback

Support the working-class press in 2020

Defend and fight for warm, safe housing for Samira and everyone

Alternative Burns Night success


Readers' opinion

Liverpool council: "No more cuts" - Is Joe Anderson serious?

Socialist Inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 5 February 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Low pay:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Fight to end low pay in the NHS and Care

triangleWest Socialist Party: Fight to end low pay in the NHS and Care

triangleSouth West London Socialist Party: Fight to end low pay in the NHS and Care

triangleSouth East London Socialist Party: Fight to end low pay in the NHS and Care

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Fight to end low pay in the NHS and Care

Poverty:

triangleDoncaster: Vigil for murdered women

trianglePoverty rises again - especially for BAME workers

triangleA timely read about a pandemic that overwhelms society

Workers:

triangleStop NHS meltdown

triangleGreek workers and socialists celebrate convictions of Golden Dawn fascists

Minimum wage:

triangleCallous Tories threaten not to uprate the minimum wage

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

14/10/20

Capitalist

Are cooperatives the answer to a failing capitalist system?

14/10/20

Schools

Even more delay in stopping school transmission?

14/10/20

Coronavirus

Locked down, hard up - Fight back!

14/10/20

Labour

Unite votes to cut affiliation fee to Labour

14/10/20

Higher Education

"It's not fair" - lockdown students demand free education

14/10/20

Nottingham

Nottingham Covid surge caused by Tory mismanagement

14/10/20

Schools

As school cases soar - is contact tracing 'near breaking point'?

14/10/20

Coronavirus

Under the microscope

14/10/20

National Education Union

National Education Union must launch action now

14/10/20

Students

Students not to blame for unsafe uni conditions

7/10/20

Socialism

Worldwide capitalist crisis deepens

7/10/20

Coronavirus

Massive testing 'glitch' caused by privatised fragmentation

7/10/20

Asylum

Fight for jobs and homes for all - defend the right to asylum

7/10/20

Tories

Tories put profit first: Gambling with our jobs and lives

7/10/20

Covid

Under the microscope

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999