Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1092/30958
From The Socialist newspaper, 24 June 2020
Them & us
Them & us (Click to enlarge)
- The Bank of England has pumped a total of £745 billion into the British economy during the Covid crisis in three months. This unprecedented stimulus takes the form of 'quantitative easing' bond purchases. So that's long-term loans to the government, to finance big business subsidies, with funds created from thin air. Seems there is a magic money tree after all...
- Education publishers want to ban the free curriculum materials provided at the start of the lockdown. The British Educational Suppliers Association complains BBC web and video resources constrain its members' profits. Never mind what's best for parents, teachers and schools!
- Factory output has fallen at the steepest rate on record, says the CBI. 17% of 360 firms surveyed had increased production during the lockdown, while 74% had cut it. The 57-point gap is the largest since records began in 1975.
- The UK's gross domestic product, a measure of the total output of capitalist economies, plummeted a record-breaking 20.4% in April, says the ONS. The Bank of England expects the nosedive to total 25% in the second quarter of this year - the deepest recession in three centuries.
- Poorer households are having to run down savings and accrue debt during the lockdown, reports the Resolution Foundation. Meanwhile, richer families are saving more, as international travel and luxury experiences are ruled out.
- Young people are most likely to have lost income during the pandemic, says the Resolution Foundation. More than one in three 18 to 24-year-olds now earns less. Workers under 25 are around two-and-a-half times more likely to work in the sectors most disrupted by lockdown, finds the IFS.
- Unemployment claims soared 23% last month to 2.8 million, according to HMRC data. In March, 1.24 million signed on - so that's a 126% explosion since lockdown.
- Poverty has forced 100,000 family members carrying out care duties to use food banks during lockdown, says Carers UK. 229,000 carers reported someone in their household had had to go hungry.
- Employers got rid of an estimated 612,000 workers from official payrolls between March and May, says the ONS. Around 9.1 million are currently furloughed, and could start to join dole queues from August as the subsidy ends.
- Airlines and their supply chains could shed 70,000 jobs due to the Covid crisis, reports the New Economics Foundation. The think tank compares the scale of carnage to Thatcher's demolition of the mining industry.
- There are now about 20 jobseekers per vacancy in poorer parts of the UK, says the Institute for Employment Studies. Up to 50 are chasing each position in areas most hit by coronavirus. Richer areas have just five candidates per post.
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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.
- 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.
- 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 24 June 2020:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Lifting the lockdown: workers must not pay the price
Victory for Royal Glamorgan A&E!
Housing: act now to cancel Covid crisis rents and debt
Over 30% of children living in poverty
Fight back to stop Tories scrapping protections for children in care
International aid: Johnson's pie in the sky
Reading workers' movement responds to knife attack
News in brief
Them & us
Black Lives Matter
Young people fighting back: Jobs and homes, not racism
Lessons from the Black Panthers: "We're not going to fight capitalism with black capitalism - we're going to fight capitalism with socialism"
Towards an anti-racist school curriculum
Black Lives Matter protests: week three
International socialist news and analysis
South Africa: Building jobs and living wage campaign
Tories sinking in Wales but no enthusiasm for Welsh Labour
Workplace news and analysis
Why you should come to NSSN conference
Fully fund schools - stand firm on safety
P&O: defend every job - nationalise the ferries
Workers need a 'new deal' - at least £12 an hour now!
Renationalisation of the probation service
It's time to join the Socialist Party
Selling the Socialist: we're back!
Fighting fund: help us smash our target!
Call for an increase in PIP due to Covid-19
A timely read about a pandemic that overwhelms society
The Socialist inbox
The Socialist 24 June 2020 |
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