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From The Socialist newspaper, 29 October 2014

Them & Us

Unsocial media

Chancellor George Osborne told a bemused Tory audience at their recent conference that the government is cracking down on aggressive corporate tax avoidance. Odd then that Facebook's UK corporation tax bill was only 3,169 compared to its net profit last year of $1.5 billion.

It seems that Facebook simply funnelled its UK sales through its European HQ located in the Republic of Ireland.

Second jobs

Times must be hard when MPs have to moonlight. In the case of 20 MPs their second job, with earnings of over 100,000 a year, will certainly help pay the household bills. These include ex-ministers in the current coalition government.

Raking it in are former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown, who scooped 492,331; Respect MP George Galloway with 265,350; and Tory MP Sir Nicholas Soames on 253,598, to name three.

According to the Guardian, 26 MPs "earned more from directorships, paid employment or shareholdings than they did from their parliamentary salary".

In total, MPs trousered 7.1 million from their outside earnings.

Deeper in debt

Health care was the most common cause of debt collections in the USA last year - accounting for 38% of the total. It underlines the nightmare situation of millions of workers and their families faced with a prohibitively expensive, privately run health care system.

Income drop

Sticking with the US, as the wealth of the super-rich has rocketed the median household (which lies statistically at the middle of the income scale), has become $50,000 poorer since 2007.

Gender relegation

One reason for PM David Cameron refusing to wear a pro-feminist t-shirt could be because the UK has dropped out of the top 20 most gender-equal countries in the world for the first time. This relegation comes after women's average wages fell by 2,700 in one year.

According to the World Economic Forum the UK was behind 25 countries when it came to men and women having the most equitable life chances in health, work and education.

Child poverty

Since the onset of the world capitalist recession in 2008 the number of children falling into poverty is 2.6 million greater than the number who have been lifted out of it according to a new report by Unicef. The child poverty rate in the UK has risen from 24% to 25.6% in this period.

What we saw

One million refuse to register for water charges

Video of Paul Murphy, Socialist Party TD, Republic of Ireland, ripping up his Irish Water pack

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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.
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  • 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 29 October 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Millions robbed by greedy bosses

Capitalism - 'the new mediocre'

Record numbers of workers suffering poverty pay

NHS: More cuts planned

Our health is not a game!

Scottish Labour in crisis

Them & Us

Socialist history

Lessons from history: 1917 Revolution in Russia

Australia: The sacking of a government

International socialist news and analysis

Building a political alternative in Seattle

Socialist Party workplace news

Support FBU pension strikes: Save our fire service

St Mungo's Broadway workers discuss next action

Sheffield recycling workers to start indefinite action

Ritzy workers threatened with redundancy

Fighting for better pay for workers

Wales colleges: Vote 'yes' in pay strike consultation

NASUWT members strike at Swinton High School

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Leicester holds historic People's Budget talks

Southwark Labour demolishes homes

Donate for socialism!

Readers' comments and reviews

Film review: On the streets of Belfast in 1971

Red Dylan Thomas


Bill Webster 1941-2014

Ronnie Sookhdeo 1946-2014


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