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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 April 2002

Fight Labour's Big Business Agenda

"THE LABOUR Party is more pro-business, pro-wealth creation, pro-competition than ever before" said Chancellor Gordon Brown in February this year.

That's clear from his latest budget. We get thrown a few crumbs while big business and the rich are laughing, as usual, all the way to the bank.

Health service

Taxes have gone up to pay for spending on the NHS. But New Labour refuse to increase income tax for the very rich. Corporation tax for big business is one of the lowest in the industrialised world. 85 billion is lost to the exchequer every year through tax avoidance by the rich - nearly twice the annual budget for the health service!

Poverty

New Labour have failed to reach their target of lifting 1.2 million children out of poverty. 3.9 million children are still poor. But Britain's super rich have seen their combined wealth grow to 159.6 billion.

Low pay

Low paid workers will get a measly 10p an hour rise in October, taking the minimum wage to just 4.20 (3.60 for 18-21-year-olds). That's an increase of only 2.4%. Fat cat directors however had an average pay rise of 107% between 1994 and 2001.

New Labour always put the profits of their big business friends before the interests of ordinary working people. Yet more sleazy scandals have been revealed this week (see page three).

The Socialist Party however, stands for the millions not the millionaires. We want a system which takes the economy out of the hands of the rich minority and allows working-class people, through democratic ownership and control, to plan society to meet the needs of the majority - not just the privileged few.

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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.
  • 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.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 19 April 2002:

Fight Labour's Big Business Agenda

Vote Socialist: For A Fighting Voice On The Council

Venezuelan Masses Inflict Defeat On US Imperialism

State Funding of Political Parties - Supping with the Devil?

Lewisham: Ian Page and Sam Dias Winning Benefits For Local People

Ukraine Elections Expose Lack Of A Workers' Alternative

Israel/Palestine War: The Failure Of Capitalism - The Need For A Socialist Solution


 

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triangleFast fashion, big profits, low pay

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