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Newport


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 824, 10 September 2014: Scotland in revolt against austerity

Search site for keywords: Them & Us - Newport - UKIP - Housing - Government - Education - Nato

Them & Us

Universal chaos

As anticipated, the government's cost-cutting Universal Credit (UC) system is leading to increased rent arrears among tenants. So far 8,500 have been moved onto UC in a number of trial areas. Leaked figures have revealed that average rent arrears for these claimants have doubled to 942.

Monthly payment of UC replaces six current benefits, including housing benefit/allowance, and is due to be phased in by October 2017 - although welfare minister Iain Duncan Smith has admitted this deadline is unlikely to be met. The scheme is proving to be largely unworkable and has been dogged by huge IT problems and massive cost overspends.


Masters of universe


Price bonanza

The chronic shortage of social housing, along with the government's pro-private landlord policies, is fuelling a property price bonanza in many cities.

Since 1987 the total value of homes in Hackney, east London, has risen by 864%.

The value of property in London (currently 35% of Britain's total) is expected to top 2 trillion by 2017.


Lobby sharks

Top market property sharks have funnelled nearly 1 million to Tory party coffers over the past two years - indicating who is benefitting from the government's housing policy.


Newport schools

When teachers take a day's strike action to defend education as well as their pay and conditions they are condemned as "destroying children's education".

Yet, hundreds of schools were either fully or partially closed during the Nato conference, as part of an effort to minimise traffic disruption on the route to the conference.

Parents and teachers were angry because in Newport alone 48 were fully closed during the conference and eight partially closed.

So 'destroying kids' education' to prevent Nato delegates and press getting stuck in traffic jams is ok then?


NHS budget grab

The amount of the annual 113 billion NHS budget going to profit making private companies - Spire, Circle, Ramsay Health, etc - has more than doubled since 2007.


What we heard

Socialist Party member triggers outburst from Ukip rep in radio debate

Last week I was invited onto a live radio show with a Lib Dem and a Ukip spokesperson to discuss why Ukip's votes were increasing.

During the interview the Ukip representative, Elizabeth Jones, said we should stop taxing big companies for carbon emissions because we couldn't be sure climate change was man made.

She also said they would scrap inheritance tax and welcomed millionaire donors. And she admitted that the only real difference between Ukip and the Tories was the issue of EU membership. It shows who they really represent - big business and millionaire bosses.

When challenged for suggesting lowering taxes for the rich, Jones hysterically screamed at me to shut up. Ukip isn't willing to have its policies debated, because that would expose how pro-establishment its leadership and representatives really are.

Helen Pattison






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