Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1105/31463
From The Socialist newspaper, 14 October 2020
Under the microscope
- Global billionaires are worth more than ever in history, reports UBS. Their collective worth hit $10.2 trillion this July. That's a 27.5% surge since April for 2,189 fat cats, while billions of us suffer pandemic and depression. The previous record was $8.9 trillion in 2017.
- Supermarket giant Tesco plans to pay out £315 million to shareholders - after receiving £249 million in local tax breaks. The half-year dividend is 20% bigger than last year, and comes alongside £1.2 billion profits.
- Redundancies have soared to the highest level since 2009, during the Great Recession, reports the ONS. And unemployment hit 4.3% in the three months to August - a three-year high, up from 4.1% the quarter before.
- Youth unemployment could more than triple, hitting Thatcher levels by year's end. That's 17% of 18 to 29-year-olds - same as 1984 - reckons the Resolution Foundation.
- Three-fifths of households claiming in-work benefits have had to cut down on food and basic needs. Almost two-thirds receiving Universal Credit or working tax credit accrued more debt, says Save the Children.
- The poorest districts in England are almost four times as likely to face lockdown restrictions, according to Guardian analysis. Abysmal living and working conditions caused by poverty are to blame.
- 900,000 more children have applied for free school meals since the coronavirus crisis hit. They join 1.4 million who were already struggling to eat, finds the Food Foundation.
- Care homes in England are waiting a week or more to get Covid-19 test results, finds the FT. Delays make it impossible to effectively contain the virus.
- 23% of people suffering mental health issues have to wait three months or more for NHS treatment. Some don't receive support for four years, says the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
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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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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In The Socialist 14 October 2020:
Locked down, hard up, fight back!
As school cases soar - is contact tracing 'near breaking point'?
Even more delay in stopping school transmission?
National Education Union must launch action now
Nottingham Covid surge caused by Tory mismanagement
Under the microscope
Students not to blame for unsafe uni conditions
"It's not fair" - lockdown students demand free education
Students speak out: isolation and uncertainty reign
Building a movement to fight for free education
What we think
Unite votes to cut affiliation fee to Labour
Usdaw elections: the battle for a fighting union
NEU Special Conference: A fight for safety in schools is urgently needed
Napo AGM 2020: Celebrating probation victory and preparing for challenges ahead
University workers ballot for action against in-person teaching
Stop Royal Mail's profit-driven plans to force postal workers to share vans
Unison: The Socialist is backing Hugo Pierre - for a fighting socialist general secretary!
Are cooperatives the answer to a failing capitalist system?
Stop NHS meltdown
Transport for London funding crunch
Oliver Campbell - Still fighting for justice
Fighting Fund - we're off to a good start
Obituary: Raph Parkinson 1958-2020
Greek workers and socialists celebrate convictions of Golden Dawn fascists
Nigeria: Mass protests force government to disband killer cop unit
Non-fiction: This Land - the story of a movement
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 14 October 2020 |
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