Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1114/31757
From The Socialist newspaper, 16 December 2020
No surprise, poverty is rising
We want real benefits, living wage, rent control and socialism
Empty pockets broke penniless poor poverty budget, photo Dan Moyle (Creative Commons) (Click to enlarge)
Sam Morden, South Tyne and Wear Socialist Party
A report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows that 2.4 million, including half a million children, experienced "destitution" in 2019 - before coronavirus reached the UK. This is up 54% since 2017.
In a country where unemployment is on the rise because of the financial crisis, and more people are forced onto what little Universal Credit may give (draconian sanctions permitting), these numbers are set only to increase.
Of the destitute, a fifth are homeless or suffer from addiction. 54% have a chronic health problem or disability. 14% are in paid work. These are indictments of the capitalist system and its effect on our health.
Destitution has risen sharply in all regions. The worst affected are London, where wealth contrasts with grinding poverty, and the north of England.
A January 2020 report by the Child Poverty Action Group shows that my home constituency - Gateshead - has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the north east (42%) - equal to Middlesbrough, and second only to Newcastle Central (48%).
The Foundation's report calls for the £20-a-week rise in Universal Credit to be extended, which the Socialist Party supports. But, in one of the richest countries in the world, it should be much more.
Benefits should be similar to a real living wage. Rents should be capped and council homes built. Only when the economy is taken into democratic public ownership will we see the wealth created used to end poverty for good.
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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.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 16 December 2020:
Unemployment and Covid rising - the crisis is not over - Fight for jobs and safety
Mass testing - we need trade union oversight and full pay for all
Fight for NHS pay and funding
Rich countries hoarding vaccine is danger to us all
No to Tories' new anti-protest law
Maternity unit deaths - democratic, public ownership needed
Met police investigate British mercenary war crimes against Tamils
No surprise, poverty is rising
Cancel exams for class of Covid
Welsh schools close for safety after union pressure
Effective testing and properly funded safety plan needed in schools
East London shows the way: strikes are how to fight for state education
Determined strikers at Leaways school
Openreach and EE: Massive vote for action
PCS union conference stripped of powers by NEC
Unite launch ballot over sacked London bus rep
Christmas redundancy shock at L&Q housing association
Stop 'fire and rehire' at British Gas
Can green technology and AI save capitalism?
'Socialism - Utopian and Scientific' by Engels
Reports & campaigns
Protests in solidarity with Indian farmers
Book: The national question - a Marxist approach
School boy assaulted by police in Tottenham
TUSC relaunch in the north west
Protest against immigration enforcement centre in Newham
Tremendous fighting fund reflects confidence
The Socialist 16 December 2020 |
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