Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1099/31264
From The Socialist newspaper, 2 September 2020
News in brief
Just another brick in the wall
Even before Covid-19, poorer secondary school students were the equivalent of 18 months' learning behind better-off students. For disadvantaged primary kids, it was nine months, reports the Education Policy Institute.
Meanwhile, wealthy families' smaller class sizes and greater education resources mean the rich-poor gap has widened by 46% during lockdown. The National Foundation for Educational Research says even this is "likely to be an underestimate."
And young people in exam-factory, gig-economy Britain are less satisfied with their lives than anywhere else in Europe, finds the OECD - citing "fear of failure." Only 64% of 15-year-olds reported 'high life satisfaction', compared to 84% in Finland and 85% in Romania.
Rashford's right on free meals
Man United forward Marcus Rashford has demanded the government further extend free food programmes for schools, holidays and pregnant women. In June, his stand helped push the Tories to extend free school meal vouchers beyond term-time.
Rashford says: "I remember the sound of my mum crying herself to sleep to this day, having worked a 14-hour shift, unsure how she was going to make ends meet." More and more working-class families know what he means.
The Socialist supports Rashford's call 100%. But we would caution that the big businesses in his "child food poverty taskforce" are also responsible for the poverty pay that causes hunger. He would do better advising workers to trust in their own strength, organised in fighting unions, to demand living wages as well.
Job retention scheme subsidies are falling from 80% to 70% of wages, and due to stop at the end of October. The scheme still covers the wages of one in 12 workers. Arbitration service Acas reports that calls to its redundancy advice hotline nearly tripled in June and July.
Tory tax dilemma
Treasury officials were quick to dismiss as "nonsense speculation" reports that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering multiple tax hikes to pay for Covid measures. Corporate profits, capital gains and inheritance were rumoured targets - but also pensions, internet sales and fuel.
Whatever happens in the November Budget, this shows the Tories' dilemma: hit their mates' profits with taxes on riches, or risk public revolt with austerity taxes? We say: tax the rich, nationalise the banks and big business - don't make the working class pay for the bosses' crisis.
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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.
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.
In The Socialist 2 September 2020:
Tory schools chaos - unions must fight for safety
Eviction ban extension not enough: make it longer, forgive the arrears!
Don't blame asylum seekers for Tory cuts
News in brief
Disability and Covid
Capitalism cause of disproportionate disabled deaths and isolation
No going back series
Welfare after Covid-19
Demand a fightback from the TUC and unions
Tate strike: "Coronavirus - no reason to fire us!"
B&Q worker reinstated: Organised response successfully challenges unfair dismissal
West Midlands journalists strike against pay and job cuts
Support Ikea workers - reinstate Richie Venton
London bus drivers poised for strike action
Join the socialists
Socialism on the rise
Fight racism, Trump and capitalism
Mass protests in Israel demand Netanyahu's resignation
Trotsky online rally - watched across the world
No Covid penalty on our future
Black Lives Matter: Fighting injustice, fighting for our rights
Nottingham: Socialists and anti-racists oppose right-wing march
No to polluting incinerator, dumped in working-class Edmonton
Scrap hospital parking charges
Liverpool: Support 15% pay rise for NHS
Lincoln: Save Drill Hall
Fundraising: An example to follow
TV: Once Upon a Time in Iraq
Manctopia: billion pound property boom
The Socialist 2 September 2020 |
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