The Socialist 30 July 2014 |
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Them & Us
Record house prices and low wages mean that millions of young people cannot move out of their parents' home.
According to the housing charity Shelter, in England and Wales, 25% of working 20 to 34 year olds still live with their parents - unable to take on a mortgage or to pay rent.
The average property price for first-time buyers rocketed by 11.3% to £202,000 last year, while wages for the under-30s have fallen by 13% in real terms since 2007.
King and country
Tory ministers routinely 'commemorate' the anniversary of World War One (see pages 5, 6 and 7) and the soldiers' sacrifices made 'for king and country'. However, the Mirror reported that former squaddie David Clapson, a diabetic, died last summer after being left starving and broke as a result of the government's benefit cuts. David's JSA was stopped after missing one appointment with a Department for Work and Pensions adviser. Helpfully, the DWP says 'people can appeal against sanctions'.
Malnutrition has soared by 71% since 2010. Not a shocking reference to the plight of refugees displaced by war, but to people in Britain since the Con-Dems came to power. There have been 6,686 admissions to hospitals of people suffering from malnutrition in 2013-14. This compares to 3,899 in the year up to April 2010.
Oil magnate Ian Taylor has donated £550,000 to the Tories since 2006, as well as giving £500,000 to the anti-Scottish independence 'Better Together' campaign. The chief executive of Vitol heads a mega-profitable company which has paid next to nothing in tax, and all with the approval of HMRC.
Beauty and the beast
The government has said that licences to allow the environmentally wrecking, but highly profitable, practice of shale gas 'fracking' in countryside beauty spots will only be granted in "exceptional circumstances". Ahem.
I will not have it said that the upper classes are eccentric. Some of them are completely barking. David Tredinnick, the Conservative MP for Bosworth has recommended astrology as an option for NHS patients. Given that the queues for treatment stretch from here to eternity, enlisting the aid of Hogwarts may be the only answer.
Tredinnick is on the Parliamentary health and science committee. If astrology is what passes for science in Parliament it does explain a lot. A number of the government's policies do seem to be under the influence of a conjunction with Uranus.
- 2.3 - million people have had their council tax benefit support stopped or reduced substantially due to government cuts
- 60% - households affected by the bedroom tax are now in rent arrears
What we saw
Bailiff busters!, on YouTube
200 people from around the country rallied in defence of cancer sufferer Tom Crawford who was threatened with eviction in a five year legal battle over his mortgage. The bailiffs were forced to leave empty-handed because they could not get past the picket.