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From: The Socialist issue 1006, 22 August 2018: Blairites go on saving Tories - boot them all out!

Search site for keywords: Pay - Workers - Socialist - Rich - Inflation - Inequality - Tax - Britain - Fat cats - Minimum wage - Big business

Bosses' pay up a fifth while workers' pay falls yet again...

Take the wealth off the super-rich!

Monopoly man with axe dancing on money bags, 1% super-rich austerity inequality, photo torbakhopper (Creative Commons)

Monopoly man with axe dancing on money bags, 1% super-rich austerity inequality, photo torbakhopper (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Beth Webster, Cardiff West Socialist Party

The average worker would take four lifetimes to earn what the average FTSE 100 chief executive makes in one year.

The latest report by the High Pay Centre reveals obscene levels of inequality growth. Last year, Britain's highest-paid CEO - Jeff Fairburn of housebuilder Persimmon - 'earned' around 2,000 times more than the average worker: 47.1 million.

Mean chief executive pay rose 23% in the last year, compared with just 2.5% for the average worker - while living costs continue to soar, with inflation at 3.2%.

The Tories have held down public sector pay for a decade. It's a sign of the weakness of their fractured government that they've been forced to scrap the cap for some workers following massive pressure from below.

Even then, they've attempted to get away with paltry below-inflation rises, claiming they can't afford more. They can, however, afford to help out the obscenely rich by slashing corporation tax to 19%.

And not content with this, Jim Ratcliffe, Britain's richest man, is moving to Monaco to dodge taxation on his 21 billion personal fortune. In 2013, his petrochemicals company Ineos was bailed out by the government with 134 million of public money - after feigning financial distress and threatening thousands of jobs.

Imagine what the billionaires' money could do if invested in education, public transport, housing and the NHS. If their companies were nationalised, it could be. Some could also be reinvested in the companies themselves to improve their services, wages and working conditions.

The claim we can't afford to nationalise big business is nonsense. They've had billions from us in tax breaks and bailouts, particularly since the 2007-08 crash. They should be nationalised with compensation paid only on the basis of proven need: not a penny to Fairburn, Ratcliffe and the other fat cats.

Such gross inequality cannot continue. Jeremy Corbyn stands for a minimum wage of 10 an hour, and even got a warm response from the public when he floated the idea of a maximum wage.

Corbyn's policies would be a huge relief to millions of workers, but he needs to go further if he is to secure them. Nationalisation of public services and the biggest companies, including the FTSE 100 and the banks, under democratic workers' control and management, as part of a socialist plan of production.

End the rule of the 1%. Join the Socialist Party and our fight for the 99%!

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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.
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