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"THE HOUSING crisis is now so great that, unless dramatic action is taken, it may take decades for the nation to recover... we simply have not produced the number of homes we so desperately need." This is the candid admission of the National Housing Federation which represents 1,200 housing associations in England.
It predicts that by 2011 there will be two million people on housing waiting lists. Meanwhile, house building will fall by 50% next year to 70,000, it added.
Clearly, only a crash house building programme of one million homes each year over the next two years can avert the housing crisis. But the government's aversion to council housing and its obsession with the private sector means that the current housing shortfall will not be remedied.
Fred's modest pension
THE UK's most hated banker - Fred 'the shred' Goodwin - sank to a new level of disdain after it was revealed that this former chief of the bankrupt Royal Bank of Scotland got RBS to pay a £2.7 million advance on his vast pension pot of £16.9 million.
It was further revealed that RBS agreed to double Sir Fred's pension on the very weekend it was asking the state for a £20 billion bailout.
Moreover, if RBS had gone bust, Fred would have got a maximum pension of £27,000 a year instead of his current £700,000 annual payout. Having wrecked the bank he should have been prosecuted for economic crimes. He can thank his lucky stars that he only had to deal with the capitalist-doting Brown government.
Barclay's tax avoidance
BARCLAY'S BANK is negotiating with the treasury to get the taxpayer to protect it against losses on potentially £80 billion of 'assets'. Meanwhile, detailed allegations about the bank's tax avoidance schemes have emerged from whistleblowers who said the bank made close to £1 billion profit a year from a series of elaborate deals.
The schemes involved the use of an intricate circuit of offshore Cayman Islands and Luxembourg companies, in deals so complex that HM Revenue and Customs struggles to unravel them.
But when the Guardian published online Barclay's tax documents revealing the tax avoidance schemes, a high court judge imposed a gagging order against the newspaper. This, despite his worshipfulness recognising that 'there is a strong public interest in how the banks go about their business'!
GEORGE GALLOWAY, the Respect renewal MP and well known campaigner against the western powers' wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, has been banned from entering Canada. Its Conservative government ruled that he is a national security threat! The Canadian government has 3,000 troops in Afghanistan and Canadian PM Stephen Harper has twice extended their deployment.
In The Socialist 25 March 2009:
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party marxist analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news