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From: The Socialist issue 863, 8 July 2015: Greek workers show the way

Search site for keywords: Them & Us - US - Energy - Water - Cuts - MPs - Taxes - Government - Jordan - Sanctions - Rich - Poverty - Unemployed - Nationalise - Tax - Welfare - Debt - Benefits - Austerity - Claimants - Freedom of Information Act - Iain Duncan Smith - NHS

Them & Us

Them and us, image Suzanne Beishon

Them and us, image Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

Regarde Lagarde

Having screwed Greek workers into the dirt with austerity, it transpires that International Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde pays no taxes on her 300,000 annual salary. She also pays no tax on her 54,000 allowance. Lagarde, helpfully, told impoverished Greek workers to pay their taxes!

Elderly cuts

Over one million elderly people struggling to cope at home on their own get no help from the national or local government because of funding cuts. Age UK charity estimates that this figure represents an increase of 100,000 since last year.

This lack of care has led to a large increase in unplanned emergency admissions of patients aged over 65 into the NHS - adding to the pressures of a struggling health service.

Over the last decade spending on social care services for older people has plunged by nearly 33% from 8.1 billion in 2005-06 to 5.46 billion in 2014-15.

Community care services have been hardest hit with a massive 25% cut (560 million) since 2010-11.

Holy shit

Bottled water can be expensive especially if its 'holy water' flown from Jordan and used in the christening of the latest royal sprog. How much this has cost is undisclosed.

However, users of this 'holy water' should beware. The river Jordan is polluted by sewage and industrial effluent!

Over the limit

We've all done it - hit our credit card limit. But not everyone is a rich MP. According to a Freedom of Information act request, 19 MPs had their official credit cards blocked for failing to show that their claimed expenses were valid.

One of the MPs was none other than welfare (cuts) minister, Iain Duncan Smith. Apparently it was all a mistake. So now the Tory millionaire can resume getting into debt while heading the government department which harshly sanctions unemployed claimants' benefits for often the most trivial of reasons.

Energy rip-off

The latest report by the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has found, surprise, surprise, customers are being ripped off by the big six energy giants.

Examining energy prices between 2009 and 2013 the CMA found that householders were being fleeced 1.2 billion more a year for their energy, while small firms are forking out around 500 million too much a year. No wonder then that millions of people find themselves in 'fuel poverty'.

As usual the banal conclusion of this report is 'customers should shop around' to get a better deal. Here's an alternative, nationalise these money-grubbing companies and lower prices!

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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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