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From: The Socialist issue 957, 26 July 2017: Barts health strike: Low pay, no way!

Search site for keywords: Them & Us - US - Austerity - Workers - Profit - Health - Cuts - Public sector - Government - Nurses - NHS - Public services - Teaching assistants - Working class - University - Social workers

Them & Us

Them and us fishes, photo Suzanne Beishon

Them and us fishes, photo Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

Bosses' profit...

The bosses' greed knows no bounds. This year UK companies paid out a record 33.3 billion in dividend payments, up 15% from last year.

That money could have been put to raising the wages of millions of the low paid and into services to benefit working class communities. For the bosses their priority is lining their own pockets from the exploitation of workers.

(thanks to Bill Murray)

...From workers' unpaid labour

Meanwhile nurses, social workers, teaching assistants and many others who struggle to keep our vital public services going are, according to the GMB union, clocking up an average eight hours unpaid work each week. This translates into an estimated 11 billion freebie for the government.

So much for Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond's bull that public sector workers are "overpaid".


No optical illusion

photo James (Creative Commons)

photo James (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

It's not your eyesight deteriorating, retail products - 2,529 over the past five years - have been shrunk by manufacturers.

Are smaller Toblerone's and Maltesers, etc, the capitalists' way of tackling the obesity health crisis? No. Apparently it's their charitable way of 'keeping the product affordable' - even though the products cost the same.

Readers may think that such a change, in effect, is a price rise and of course they'd be right. The bosses defend this sleight of hand by claiming production costs have soared and therefore they're protecting the consumer from price hikes. How kind!

However, the wholesale price of ingredients, like sugar and cocoa, has fallen. So it's a simple case of profiteering. Perhaps reducing the size of the capitalist class to zero might help.


Longevity and austerity

Move to the planet Vulcan or fight the cuts if you want to 'live long and prosper'.

According to Michael Marmot, director of the Institute of Health Equity at University College London: "Since 2010, the rate of increase in life expectancy [in England] has about halved."

Marmot's research suggests that the slowdown in life expectancy rates has coincided with austerity measures that have seen massive cuts in health and social care spending in England. Before 2010, spending on the NHS rose around 3.8% each year, but this has since fallen to 1.1% a year.

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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.
  • 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 Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

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