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From: The Socialist issue 777, 28 August 2013: Stop Cuts - Demand united action

Search site for keywords: Labour - Poverty - Children - Bonuses

Them & Us

Working poor

The latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show that nearly one million (987,607) working people are now claiming housing benefit.

Since 2010 more new claims have been started by people who are working than the total increase in the number of claimants - meaning a growing proportion of housing benefit is going to those who work.

This just shows the impact of the public sector pay freeze, low pay and zero-hour contracts combined with the rising cost of living - even with a job people can't afford their rent!

Cost of austerity

According to Labour, the government's harsh welfare programmes will cost an extra 1.4 billion to the public purse.

Government estimates have been thrown off by the number of successful appeals against Atos decisions on disability benefits and low take-up of workfare schemes. The bedroom tax alone is costing 102 million to put in place.

That's the end of the lie that these hated schemes are all about saving us money then! Disgracefully Labour's response is that it will take the Coalition's cuts as a 'starting point'.


12 holidays in four years - not a bad deal for the Cameron family. Seems like there's plenty of time to relax when you're prime minister.

Cameron's trips since he became PM include Granada, Italy, Mallorca, Algarve, Jura, Ibiza (twice) and the annual trip to Cornwall.

No amount of posing in shorts and loafers will convince us he's 'one of the people' with that kind of lifestyle.

Witch hunt

Tory education secretary Michael Gove has criticised Labour leader Ed Miliband for not being as effective as his predecessor, Neil Kinnock, at purging the left from the Labour Party.

Gove said: "While Kinnock moved bravely and remorselessly to eradicate Militant's [forerunner of the Socialist Party] influence, and Militant-sponsored MPs, from Labour, Miliband has done nothing to stop the takeover of his own party."

Far from needing a purge of socialists, Blair and Brown's wars, privatisation and attacks on democratic rights, purged the party of almost all remaining socialists.

And the idea that Miliband is overseeing a 'union takeover' will seem astonishing to the trade unionists who've been criticised, attacked and even reported to the police by the party in recent months.

Wait for it

1.7 billion worth of bonuses normally paid in March were delayed until April to take advantage of the reduction in the top tax rate from 50p to 45p.

Bonuses in banking and finance were twice as much in April 2013 as in April 2012 as the fat cats couldn't bear to miss an opportunity to maximise their already bloated bonuses.

Child poverty

A report by the National Children's Bureau has said that child poverty is a bigger problem in 2013 than it was in the 1960s. 3.6 million children now live in relative poverty compared to two million 50 years ago.

The report warns that rich and poor children are living completely separate lives. 63% of children living in poverty have at least one parent in work.

Worse off

As the Socialist warned millions of people will be worse off under new pensions arrangements. Those with a long working history entitled to the second state pension will be up to 2,000 worse off according to the TUC.

Still one million

Government ministers were quick to champion the latest statistics on the number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETS), which showed a drop of 1,000.

But the percentage of young people in this category remained unchanged at 15.1% and the total number is still over one million. Not much to cheer about then.

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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.

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