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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 May 2002

Health, education, transport: Five Years Of Failure

Build the socialist alternative

GORDON BROWN'S much heralded budget hasn't done much to boost New Labour. A GMTV/Daily Mirror poll found 43% of people trust Blair less than than they did five years ago.

40% think things have got worse under New Labour. In a separate poll, 58% of people asked didn't expect to see any improvements in the NHS as a result of tax rises in the budget.

Ken Douglas

Brown's spending figures are based on predicted growth rates of 2% this year and 3.5% next year whereas the latest figures show the economy has virtually ground to a halt. So much for prudence, sound finance and ending boom and bust!

No extra money is to be made available to raise pay levels of nurses and other health workers; Brown warns "that the days of something for nothing are over in public services". What an insult to health workers who daily slog their guts out to keep an understaffed NHS going with inadequate resources and earning poverty wages.

Big business will be the main beneficiary of Brown's billions. The money amounts to 7.5% annual growth over the next five years - many trusts estimate that they need 6.6 % per year just to stand still.

Add to this the cost of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes and the money will soon disappear into the pockets of the fat cats.

City analysts put profit margins on a PFI hospital at more than double a typical building project!

Money will also be squandered on paying for beds in private hospitals to prop up a failing private sector, and sending patients abroad for treatment.

But it's not just on health that New Labour are seen to have failed. Polls also show that people think they have done badly on education and transport.

More than ever before working-class people need a political alternative to challenge the big business policies of New Labour and all the main parties.

The Socialist Party offers an alternative - in elections, in the workplaces, in local communities and anti-capitalist protests. Join us now and fight to build a socialist alternative.

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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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
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In The Socialist 3 May 2002:

Health, education, transport: Five years of failure

Support The Postal Workers

Mass protests in France: Neither the 'Fascist' nor the 'Crook'

Falklands/Malvinas 1982: Thatcher's War Of Saving Face

A Shift To The Far Right In Europe?

Mass Action And Socialism To Fight The Fascist Threat

Israel/Palestine: The War Of Occupation Continues

Socialist Challenge in Irish Election

Argentine crisis: Taking To The Streets Against The IMF


 

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