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David Cameron

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From: The Socialist issue 596, 7 October 2009: Needed a party for workers, not bosses

Search site for keywords: Pay - Tax - Greece - Construction - David Cameron

Fast news

Family fortunes

Tory party leader David Cameron has admitted on the Andrew Marr show that his is "definitely a well-off family". That's putting it mildly. The Sunday Times Rich List valued the family wealth of David and his wife Samantha Cameron at 30 million plus in 2007.

If Cameron comes to power and introduces his plan to cut inheritance tax for the rich, the slimy Old Etonian has been estimated to make 500,000 profit out of it. He is expected to inherit 2.5 million when his stockbroker father dies.

In 2007 Labour - not to be outdone by the Tories - increased the 40% inheritance tax threshold for married couples from 300,000 to 700,000 by 2010.

However, Tory plans would allow married couples to pay tax only on estates worth more than 2 million, so Cameron would pay only 200,000 when his father dies if Dad can hold out until his son becomes PM.

Postal ballot

Postal workers are balloting for national industrial action to defend jobs and working conditions. 121,000 angry Communication Workers Union members are voting as Royal Mail management try to impose 'modernisation' measures - in many cases severely worsening working conditions. The ballot closes on 8 October, with the result likely to be announced soon afterwards.

Greek election

Greece's conservative New Democracy government of prime minister Costas Karamanlis suffered its worst ever general election result, crashing to just 91 MPs with only 33.5% of the vote last Sunday.

The main beneficiary was the social democrats of Pasok, led by its veteran leader George Papandreou. Pasok won 44% of the vote giving it 160 seats in the 300-member parliament.

During New Democracy's five years in power, workers were forced to organise a series of one-day general strikes against attacks on pensions, pay and jobs. There were also a number of high profile ministerial corruption scandals.

Greece's Communist party took 7.5% and 21 seats and Syriza (in which the Greek CWI participates), with support among young workers won 4.6% and 13 seats. Alarmingly, Laos - a far-right anti-immigrant party - increased its share of the vote to 5.6% and won 15 seats with votes from disaffected conservatives.


NAECI ballot result

Construction workers covered by the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) have voted to reject the employers' offer on pay and conditions. This ballot covered around 30,000 workers, mainly members of GMB and Unite, although workers on seven sites have already voted for industrial action.

The main argument is over stopping the employers bringing workers onto the sites on lower wages and conditions as they attempt to water down the provisions of the NAECI agreement.

At the moment the unions are seeking further talks with the employers.

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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.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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