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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 June 2012

Join in the Austerity Games!

Poverty and homelessness to skyrocket

Suzanne Beishon, London Youth Fight for Jobs
Austerity Games , artwork by Suzanne Beishon

Austerity Games , artwork by Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

This summer London will play host to the costly Olympic Games. While many look forward to a 'summer of sport', in its shadow, workers and young people in London and around the country face, not just months of disruption and misery that go with the 24 billion games, but poverty and homelessness as the cuts bite.

Housing in London stands on the brink of a crisis. With more cuts to housing benefit due to come in next April, a new government-commissioned study has shown that 40% of London landlords plan to stop renting to housing benefit tenants in the next year, dwarfing the already high 33% nationally.

More benefit cuts

Tens of thousands of working and poor families face being forced out of their homes as a result of the changes. The increasing lack of affordable properties only promises to exacerbate the problem and force people onto the streets or into insecure, temporary accommodation.

The government argues that the changes will stop families from claiming hundreds of thousands of pounds for large properties in expensive areas at the expense of the taxpayer and that landlords will be forced to lower rents.

The reality is that greedy rip-off landlords, who are the real beneficiaries of housing benefit, will not lower rents. In fact, 37% of landlords in London have said they are more likely to evict tenants or not renew tenancy agreements, three times higher than the 11% that said they would consider lowering rents.

The reality is that over the last year there has been a 61% rise in the number of households with children living in bed-and-breakfast accommodation and homelessness has seen increases of 14% nationally and 36% in London, with children increasingly at risk.

We refuse to accept the government's scaremongering attacks on so-called benefit scroungers to justify the return of Dickensian poverty stricken conditions.

While the real scroungers - the tax-avoiding super-rich - splash out on the luxury services on offer around the Olympic games (for between 295 and 4,500 per person you can get a champagne reception and four course dinner with your Olympic ticket) Youth Fight for Jobs will be organising to show workers and young people that, in the seventh richest country in the world, we can, and should, be afforded the right to a decent home and a decent future.

That is why young people and trade unionists from across the country will be sending teams to Hackney Marshes to compete in the Austerity Games on Monday 23 July - the week before the Olympics. We will be launching the Youth Fight for Jobs Manifesto: A Future for the 99%, which lays out the problems faced by young people in Britain today and a strategy of how to get organised and fight for a decent future.

We will be putting competitors through their paces with ten athletics events from the Race to the Bottom to the Deficit Discus and Property High Jump to highlight the plight of workers and young people, lost underneath these expensive and corporate Olympic Games.

To get involved in Youth Fight for Jobs or the Austerity Games email [email protected]

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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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In The Socialist 20 June 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight their profit system

2012 earth summit

British economy: "black cloud overhead"

Leveson inquiry - The 1%: "definitely in this together"

Flight of the rats

The child poverty mirage

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Greece election - majority vote against austerity

Egypt's military instigates a 'soft coup'


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Join in the Austerity Games!

Gloucestershire: Countywide protests to stop NHS sell-off

Bus bosses can't stop the Socialist!

Support the final sprint to the fighting fund quarter finish line


Socialist Party workplace news

Striking at Fords to defend pensions

Five hundred food processing workers strike in Leicester

Packed Coryton refinery meeting backs action to win

Support the London bus strike

UCU: Time to fight on pay and pensions

Improved offer in Metro workers' pay fight

Workplace news in brief


Trade union conferences

GMB delegates question link to Labour

Unite needs strategy to step up fight against austerity

Unison conference: members show anger at pensions 'offer'

Fighting teachers' association network launched


Socialist Party review

Secret History of the Streets, Deptford High Street


 

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Related links:

Young people:

triangleExams scrapped again - young people need a future with jobs and free education

triangleWhat will the spending review mean for me?

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Save the environment before capitalism destroys the planet

triangleAll East London Socialist Party meeting: Corbyn suspended - time for a new party for workers and young people

triangleAll South London Socialist Party meeting: Corbyn suspended - time for a new party for workers and young people

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triangleBooks that inspired me: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Homelessness:

triangleTories reduce winter homeless funding: reverse the cuts,use the empty homes!

triangleEviction ban extension not enough: make it longer, forgive the arrears!

triangleHousing crisis: what now and after the pandemic?

Youth Fight for Jobs:

triangleJarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth

Housing:

triangleChristmas redundancy shock at L&Q housing association

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