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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 May 2011

Fast news

Smoke and mirrors

City of London fat cats saw their 2010-11 bonus pot shrink 8%, compared to a year earlier, to 6.7 billion. However the masters of the universe were handsomely compensated by an average 7% rise in their salaries. This inflation busting pay hike compares to an average of just 2% rise across the economy for mere mortals.

These financial swings and roundabouts make a mockery of the government's Project Merlin deal with the City which was meant to voluntarily deliver financial restraint from the fat cats. By continuing to stuff their pockets with wads of cash they add a further insult to ordinary workers, many of whom continue to suffer from employer-imposed pay cuts at the same time as tax increases and government cuts in public services.

Flat-lining economy

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that the UK economy continues to flat-line with zero growth over the last six months. Tory Chancellor George Osborne attempted to be upbeat about growth, despite the evidence that his multi-billion pound austerity programme of spending cuts was acting like a massive drag on the economy. As a spokesperson from the Institute for Public Policy Research think tank put it: "The UK has just come as close as it is possible to come to a recession without actually being in one."

Overdraft 1

Global capitalism has racked up a 3 trillion overdraft - the sum that the world's central banks pumped into the global economy to prevent a financial meltdown.

The 3 trillion figure (which includes a mere 200 billion, so far, from the Bank of England) represents a staggering 8% of the world economy. However, this massive stimulus appears to have had only a short-term effect. According to Fathom Consulting, who compiled the global 'quantitative easing' figure: "It remains unclear how much of the equity market rally has been 'genuine', rather than simply a 'mopping up' of that extraordinary injection of liquidity." Fathom warns: "As that stimulus is gradually withdrawn, further gains in equity markets will be harder to achieve."

Overdraft 2

Meanwhile, the US government will hit its $14.3 trillion borrowing limit by 16 May.

The reasons for the multi-trillion debt is government bailouts to the banks and big business, funding costly overseas wars, capitalist recession, and a decade of tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations.

Meanwhile real wages actually fell by 8% during the last decade and median household income in the US fell from over $52,000 in 1999 to $49,777 in 2010.

Despite recently pushing huge spending cuts through the House of Representatives (with Democrat agreement), the Republicans are demanding deeper cuts in welfare and social services and yet more tax cuts for the rich.

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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.
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In The Socialist 4 May 2011:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS Cuts: Stop the Con-Dem wreckers

NHS: Stop the Connaught closure


Youth fight for jobs

Join the Jarrow march!


Socialist Party editorial

Cracks grow in Con-Dem coalition


Socialist Party feature

Cuts hit disabled people hard


Socialist Party news and analysis

Review: The monarchy - reserve weapon of the ruling class?

May Day in Kazakhstan marked by attacks on socialists

Coventry residents' victory over Academy land snatch

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

More teachers vote for pensions strike ballot

Rotherham teachers strike again to defend their union rep

National Shop Stewards Network


Socialist Party feature

Paris commune 1871: When workers "stormed heaven".


Already posted on the Socialist Party website

Osama Bin Laden - killed by US forces

Socialists elected to leading positions in Greenwich Unite

Solidarity action builds for BP/Vivergo Saltend workers


 

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