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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 November 2014

Them & Us

Get even

The charity Oxfam reports that the number of billionaires doubled between 2009 and 2014 - the 'Great Recession' - a period characterised by savage capitalist austerity involving mass welfare cuts and falling real incomes.

Earlier this year, Oxfam said the world's 85 billionaires owned the same wealth as the poorest half of the world's population.

In it's latest study - Even It Up - it says that this elite group had seen their wealth collectively increase by $668million (414million) a day in the 12 months to March 2014.


Frugal Google

Google has boasted of signing up to the 'living wage' for its employees. The 'living wage' is currently 7.85 an hour (9.15 an hour in London), compared to the statutory minimum wage of 6.50 an hour.

However, it seems that the ubiquitous internet search engine gives with the one hand but takes back much more with the other.

Last year Google again made the headlines but for the wrong reason; namely, that it paid only 11.6 million in UK corporate taxes despite generating 3.4 billion of business in the country and declaring a global profit of 6.1 billion for 2012.

Google avoids paying more in UK taxes by designating its UK office as primarily a 'marketing operation' with its European HQ based in Ireland. However, a Reuters investigation alleged that Google's UK workers were responsible for sales not their Irish colleagues.



Unfriendly Barclays

Another employer paying the living wage is Barclays. The banking giant had earlier this year demonstrated its 'worker-friendly' credentials by announcing 9,000 job cuts in the UK.


Debt charges

2 billion would go a long way in investing in council housing, public services or wages. Instead, the government is intending to use this sum to repay government debt stretching back to the South Sea Bubble company collapse in 1720, the Napoleonic and Crimea wars, as well as World War One.

Given that these bonds have no maturity date, and therefore the government never has to repay investors (the original ones are presumably all now dead), we can only praise George Osborne's priorities in these austere times!

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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 5 November 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cold, cruel cuts: Fight the Con-Dem attacks

The Con-Dems' Machiavellian cuts

All main parties in crisis: where will the opposition go?

Pressure mounts on zero-hour contracts

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Every penny counts: donate to Socialism 2014

TUSC fights for health centre

Carlisle: Stop the car parking tax

Socialist Students campaign reports


International socialist news and analysis

Ireland water tax: 'We won't pay'

Burkina Faso: Mass uprising ousts dictator


Socialist Party workplace news

Back fresh strikes to save the NHS

Defend firefighters' right to strike!

Victory to St Mungo's strikers

Sheffield Green workers start indefinite strike

Greenwich libraries victory

Police staff ballot for decent pay

Ritzy cinema bosses back down

Kent: Range wardens strike

Workplace news in brief


Readers' comments

Agree with Russell Brand? Join the Socialist Party!

Ebola virus crisis - no profit, no vaccine

Repel the Tories' attacks on our democratic rights

Portsmouth jihadis: austerity and alienation to blame

Take over software giants


Obituary

Benny Adams


 

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