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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 June 2013

Lowest living standards in a decade

Frankie Langland

It was no shock when it was reported recently that living standards had fallen to the lowest levels in a decade.

As a young health worker I was even less shocked to discover that once again it is young people who are being hit the hardest, with the average income for a worker in their 20s remaining stagnant for the past six years.

In fact for the thousands of young people, like myself, who are employed by the public sector, a very noticeable cut has been made to our wages.

Over the past 12 months I have seen a loss of 2,000 to my income, which as a band three Health Care Assistant brings me to just above minimum wage.

Struggle

Everyday life is becoming more and more of a struggle. In my community there is a noticeable increase in homelessness, alcoholism and drug use.

Last Friday a 17 year old boy was stabbed to death; on the bus home the other day a man was smoking crack quite blatantly on the top deck; and when I go down to do my weekly shop the streets I walk smell of urine.

Many people will be able to relate to this day-to-day life. We budget until we're blue in the face but it's still not enough, stuck in overdrafts which bite away at our wages a bit more each month, living in mould ridden flats which we can barely afford the rent on.

It's no surprise that there has been a steep rise in young people reporting mental health issues - one in ten young people now say they can't cope.

Anger is definitely the theme for this recession. Things that I used to be able to accept and walk away from now make me shake with rage.

I used to make jokes about the rubbish politicians said on the telly but now I want to throw things - they're not playing a game, they're playing with our lives!

All in it together?

This isn't about them trying to get us out of a recession, and we are definitely not all in this together! This is a politically motivated attack on public services (which are needed more in times of hardship, not less!) and us, the working class. We all know the Tories are the party for the millionaires, they always have been.

Working class people are the ones feeling the brunt of these cuts. We are the majority and we have to fight to save our services and communities.

United strike action will link all of our power. They're hitting us where it hurts, let's hit them where it hurts them, and fight for our future!

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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 19 June 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cuts can be beaten!

Why we're going to the NSSN conference: Coventry communications workers

Fight the Tories for right to a decent education system

Student loans threat: Action needed on student debt mountain

Lowest living standards in a decade

Sir 'sell-out' Brendan

Them & Us


Fighting the bedroom tax

We can beat the bedroom tax - Supplement to the Socialist

Let's axe the bedroom tax


International socialist news and analysis

Turkey: Eyewitness to Erdogan's state terror


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Southampton byelection: Labour vote halved

Fire cuts - public will support strike action

Stopping the BNP from meeting

Home care: Cuts and outsourcing equal abuse

Wales campaigners fight for NHS

Socialist Party news


Socialist Party workplace news

Bin workers strike for seven days

NUT members strike to defend teaching assistant posts

Housing support workers say 'enough is enough'

Unison Local Government conference: Leadership faces delegates' anger

Support for socialist alternative to pro-cuts New Labour at GMB conference

Wales Shop Stewards' Network conference

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reviews

Budding trade unionists and passionate Chartists

BBC 'unbalanced' on Liverpool 47


 

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