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From: The Socialist issue 1042, 15 May 2019: Take the wealth off the super-rich

Search site for keywords: Super-rich - Wealth - Rich - Tax - Poverty - Inequality - Capitalist - Economy - Taxes - HM Revenue and Customs - Anti-austerity

Rich list thieves

Take the wealth off the super-rich

Billions for them, cuts for us, photo torbakhopper (Creative Commons)

Billions for them, cuts for us, photo torbakhopper (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Lindsey Morgan, Leicester West Socialist Party

The top 1,000 wealthiest individuals and families in Britain are sitting on a record 771.3 billion, up 47.8 billion in a year. This astonishing fact is in this year's Sunday Times Rich List.

At the same time millions of children from working families are living in poverty, more than a third of babies are living below the poverty line, and workers up and down the country are engaged in battles against poverty pay. The accumulated hoarded wealth of the super-rich, stolen from the value created by workers' labour, is beyond unfair.

It is clear that wealth isn't 'trickling down'. In fact, the working class is forced to fight for the scraps from the bosses' table. This is why we need the Tories out!

Under the headline 'Age of uncertainty rattles the super-rich', the Sunday Times details conversations with Rich List grandees. They say the election of Corbyn as prime minister would lead to 'Corbygeddon' - and that some are taking steps to move wealth abroad.

The Times has long been the mouthpiece of the capitalist class. Even the positive but relatively limited demands that Corbyn has proposed have rattled the wealthy.

Tax

In response to the Rich List Corbyn has proposed that the top 1,000 should declare the tax they pay. This is a welcome proposal that would enable deeper scrutiny of the wealth of the richest, and would impact the ability of HM Revenue and Customs to allow so-called 'sweetheart deals' through which the capitalist class avoids paying high rates of taxation.

In research conducted for the PCS union the tax gap equates to a loss of 120 billion a year to the government. To reclaim this could be a huge step forward. A higher tax rate, as proposed by Labour, would also be positive.

But faced with the prospect of paying higher taxes, many bosses will move their wealth abroad. This is why we need to fight for a general election and for a Corbyn-led anti-austerity government, but with socialist policies that include nationalising the banks and major corporations that dominate the economy. We can't control what we don't own.

Wealth inequality is a fact of capitalism. Measures to narrow the gap through reform are seriously limited without mass working-class struggle to fight for more. This wealth that has been stolen from workers can only be won back long term by the organised working class.

We need to unite, strike, and fight together for the socialist transformation of society where big business is owned and democratically planned for all. It is the only true end to the obscenity of wealth inequality here and abroad.

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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.
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