Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/877/21671
From The Socialist newspaper, 4 November 2015
Six million earn less than living wage
£10 an hour now!
The Trades Union Congress reports that nearly six million workers in the UK earn less than the voluntary 'living wage' (currently £7.85 an hour and £9.15 an hour in London).
And the proportion of workers earning less than the living wage has increased in recent years.
The bosses' policy of low wages has been central in securing ever growing profits for the '1%' super-rich, while the number of working families having to claim benefits and use foodbanks has soared.
These latest figures plainly contradict the Tories' claim that they have raised the living standards of working people. In fact, the tax credit cuts that millionaire Prime Minister Cameron insists on putting through will send a further 200,000 children into poverty by 2016.
The increase in the national minimum wage next year - from £6.70 an hour to £7.20 an hour (only for those over 25) - will not repair the damage that these cuts will bring about. But even this miserly increase has led bosses to threaten job cuts in order to maintain company profits.
Retiring Costa Coffee boss Andrew Harrison, who pocketed £4.6 million in pay and bonuses last year, said he'll increase prices to pay the raise to 34,000 of its staff who currently earn less than £7.20.
The minimum wage, which is expected to increase to £9 an hour by 2020, will not keep up with the increase in the rate of the real living wage. It means that in five years' time the proportion of people earning less than the living wage will be even higher.
That is why we need to campaign through our trade unions for a £10 an hour minimum wage now as a step towards a real living wage. Only an increase on this scale would really halt the decline in living standards of working people.
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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.
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In The Socialist 4 November 2015:
Socialist Party news and analysis
£10 an hour now!
Unions must capitalise on mass anger at austerity and anti-union laws
The 'tampon tax' is a tax on being a woman
Long hours ruining health without lifting productivity
Transgender woman locked up in male prison
Tory bid to turn co-op tenants against one another
Them & Us
What we saw
International socialist news and analysis
US: #blacklivesmatter movement challenges racism
Turkey: Erdogan's victory based on fear and intimidation
International news in brief
Socialist Party features
The Socialist: A fighting antidote to the mainstream media's lies
The socialist case for nationalisation of the steel industry
Struggle for solidarity with refugees must be anti-austerity
Where did the unions' money go?
Workplace news and analysis
Strike together to Kill the Bill
Determined DLR strikers to "fight all the way"
Unison general secretary election - vote Roger Bannister
London Underground rep targeted for trade union activity
Fire service cuts put people at risk
Solidarity action for victimised Unison rep
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party comments and reviews
Wrong: Owen Jones tells Labour "abandon anti-austerity"
Cycle cheat Armstrong's hypocrisy and bullying
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
The Socialist campaign: buy it, sell it - read it, write it
Socialist Party joins campaign against NHS bullying
Super Southampton fighting fund campaign
The Socialist 4 November 2015 |
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