Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/30470

Posted on 23 March 2020 at 17:48 GMT

Coronavirus

A Socialist Party poster

A Socialist Party poster   (Click to enlarge)

Too little too late

Finally, Johnson and Sunak have responded to growing public anger and agreed to pay 80% of the wages of workers who are laid off because of the coronavirus.

This will be welcomed by millions of workers who are desperately worried, not just about the virus, but how they are going to survive from day to day.

But this 'wartime' response by the government is far from the Blitz myth of 'we're all in it together'. On the contrary, it means workers taking a 20% hit on their wages while the bosses don't have to pay anything!

And once again it's too little too late.

Tens of thousands of mainly low-paid workers have already lost their jobs. They must all be reinstated immediately.

For workers already struggling to pay the bills, 80% of wages will not be enough to live on. Sunak has said there is "no limit" on what the government will spend. Then pay us 100% now!

And that money has to go to all workers. Millions of self-employed and workers in the gig economy will still only get statutory sick pay - a measly 94.25 a week, one of the lowest in Europe - or paltry state benefits.

We say work or full pay - with the money going directly to workers, not as a subsidy to the bosses.

It's good that that the government has announced some legal protection against summary evictions for the next three months.

But it's not clear how this will be enforced. Some workers are continuing to be kicked out of their homes.

And rent will still be due, with renters facing huge debts and possible eviction further down the line.

Rents must be written off as well as mortgages for the duration of the crisis, and democratically controlled hardship funds set up for landlords in genuine need.

Too little too late doesn't just apply to the help on offer for workers affected by the crisis. From day one this government has failed to act quickly enough to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

As the editor in chief of the Lancet said: "These dangers were clear from the very beginning. We have wasted seven weeks".

A government of big business, it has put profits before the health and welfare of working-class people.

Cuts and austerity have meant frontline health and social care workers risking their own health because of lack of masks and other personal protective equipment.

A shortage of NHS test kits is putting lives in danger, while the rich can pay for testing . 44% of general and acute beds have been cut since 1987.

With only 3,700 adult critical care beds and 8,000 ventilators in the NHS, medical staff could soon be faced with making decisions about who should live or die, as is already happening in Italy.

Urgent action is needed. There must be an immediate massive injection of money and resources into the NHS and social care, to expand the supply of beds, equipment and staff.

All private medical facilities must be seized and integrated into the NHS - and not a penny paid to the private profiteers.

Johnson is pleading with manufacturing industry to help with producing ventilators. But for private companies profit always come first.

The pharmaceutical companies were researching a coronavirus vaccine during the Sars epidemic but abandoned it when the epidemic ended because they no longer had a profitable market.

These companies should be nationalised and brought under the democratic control of the NHS to guarantee research and the production and supply of medicines, vaccines, treatments and equipment.

The big supermarket companies have been quite happy to see their shelves empty as long as their cash tills are full.

Now under pressure they have been forced to introduce an element of rationing. And the government is 'relaxing' competition rules so that the retail companies can coordinate food supplies and use each other's vehicles for distribution.

But the supermarket bosses put profit before all else and cannot be left in charge of who can get hold of essentials.

It couldn't be clearer. The coronavirus virus crisis has exposed the complete inability of the capitalist market economy, based on profit and competition, to meet the needs of working-class people.

More and more the state is having to intervene to try to plug the gaps and overcome the inadequacies of the market.

The economy is crying out for a coordinated plan of production and distribution of food, medical equipment and supplies, and other goods.

But that will only be possible if the major manufacturing, service and financial industries are taken into public ownership and control.

Then, workers, consumers and service users can democratically decide what will be produced, where it will be distributed, and guarantee a decent income for everyone.

Coronavirus is turning the world upside down. We need to organise and fight to ensure that the future is a socialist one - meeting the needs of the majority in society, not just a rich and powerful minority. Join us in that fight.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 






Related links:

Coronavirus:

triangleUnited action can defeat Tories' dangerous school plan

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Why are coronavirus deaths higher in working-class areas?

triangleBlack and Asian Covid-19 deaths: an indictment of capitalist inequality

triangleContract tracer speaks out: Tories' plan is outsourced chaos

triangleTrump, coronavirus, capitalism, and the presidential race

Workers:

triangleStrong union response needed against job cuts

trianglePosties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

triangleOrganising to fight for workplace safety

triangleTransport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

Pay:

triangleFurlough cut-off could force millions back to unsafe workplaces

triangleLeicester care workers face pay cut and worse conditions

triangleFurlough scheme extended - workers need 100% of wages

Government:

triangleRich get handouts - workers get pay cuts

triangleParents - Organise against 'back to school' plans that threaten everyone's safety

Public ownership:

triangleCapitalism causes crisis profiteering: fight for workers' oversight and public ownership

Pharmaceutical:

triangleTories using pandemic to shift lab testing out of NHS

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

26/5/20

Coronavirus

United action can defeat Tories' dangerous school plan

22/5/20

Coronavirus

Black and Asian Covid-19 deaths: an indictment of capitalist inequality

20/5/20

Coronavirus

Johnson's reckless 'back to school' plans threaten everyone's safety

20/5/20

Coronavirus

Confidence plummets in Tory strategy for Covid-19

20/5/20

Benefits

Universal Basic Income: not a solution to insecurity and poverty under capitalism

20/5/20

Covid

Furlough cut-off could force millions back to unsafe workplaces

20/5/20

Council

Crisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

20/5/20

Rich

Rich get handouts - workers get pay cuts

19/5/20

Coronavirus

Transport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

13/5/20

Coronavirus

Pandemic shortages caused by capitalist market - socialist planning is the alternative

13/5/20

Coronavirus

Tories put profit before lives - unions must stand firm on workplace safety

13/5/20

Coronavirus

Stay alert to bosses putting profit before safety

12/5/20

Coronavirus

Furlough scheme extended - workers need 100% of wages

11/5/20

Coronavirus

Dispatches from the front: bosses prepare fresh attacks on NHS

7/5/20

Welsh Government

Social partnership is an attempt to shackle trade unions and prevent industrial action

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999