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From: The Socialist issue 1117, 20 January 2021: Make the super-rich pay, not the poorest

Search site for keywords: Pay - Super-rich - Rich - Tories - Poverty - Universal Credit - Minimum wage - Benefits - Covid

Covid crisis

Make the super-rich pay, not the poorest

Southampton Trades Council protest, 7 November 2020, photo Southampton SP

Southampton Trades Council protest, 7 November 2020, photo Southampton SP   (Click to enlarge)

In the last week the real number of deaths from Covid has gone over 100,000, and the UK has recorded the highest per capita death toll in the world. Millions more have been thrust into poverty during the pandemic.

And what did the Tories do? Abstain in a vote that would have allowed the poorest to have just an extra 20 a week.

If you're an MP on a salary of more than 80,000 then 20 is just small change. But if you've lost your job or on poverty pay and claiming Universal Credit (UC), 20 can mean you don't have to switch the heating off or go to the nearest food bank.

The Tories say 6 billion is too much to make the 'uplift' in UC permanent. That's after spending 280 billion so far on the pandemic. Just a two-point increase in corporation tax, already the lowest of the G20 major countries, would more than pay for the increase.

The Tories are divided down the middle over the issue and, if enough pressure was brought by the trade union movement, could be forced into yet another climbdown. But this time there is more at stake. It's about who in the long term is going to pay the cost of Covid - the working class or the millionaires.

We say:

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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.

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