Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 May 2020

Bail out the real wealth creators, not the rich

Jarrow demonstration: we are the 99% Take the wealth off the 1%, photo Paul Mattsson

Jarrow demonstration: we are the 99% Take the wealth off the 1%, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales

Remember the bank bailout after the 2007-08 crisis? The banks went cap in hand to the taxpayer while their executives continued to receive multimillion-pound bonuses. The government took the banks' debts off their hands while leaving them the profits - and making the working class pay with austerity for over a decade.

Now, faced with an even deeper crisis, virtually the whole capitalist class wants to be bailed out. Never mind that many of them are sitting on huge cash reserves.

Even companies making inflated profits from the crisis, like Tesco, are being subsidised. Tesco has received 585 million in business rate relief while paying 900 million in dividend payments to its shareholders this year, after making profits of over 2 billion.

Payments to workers amount to a very small proportion of the overall government bailout. 330 billion, or 95% of the original 350 billion announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, was intended to shore up business.

The sheer shameless gall of the billionaires makes you gasp. Richard Branson is sitting on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. This enables him to avoid paying any tax on the huge profits he has made while taking over 300 million in government subsidies for Virgin Trains, and over 2 billion in government contracts for Virgin Care.

He even sued the NHS when his company failed to win a contract from Surrey NHS clinical commissioning groups. But this has not prevented him demanding that the government stump up 500 million to stop his Virgin airline from crashing.

And while Branson's personal net worth is 4.5 billion, he is forcing the 8,500 staff of the airline to take eight weeks' unpaid leave, with deductions spread over six months. This saves him 34 million - less than 0.8% of his personal fortune.

This whole epoch in microcosm - workers tightening their belts, with many forced into severe personal hardship, to preserve the fortunes of the mega-rich. And the bosses are increasingly viewing the crisis as an opportunity to further attack workers' pay and conditions.

British Airways has announced the sacking of 12,000 workers, half its workforce, and demanded further cuts of the remaining workforce. Rolls-Royce is threatening to cut up to 8,000 jobs and P&O ferries has said that 4,000 jobs could go if the government doesn't cough up 150 million of public money.

Workers should have their jobs and income guaranteed, but the gold-plated parasites should not get a penny of a bailout paid for by the working class. All companies requesting funding should open their books so that we can see where their profits have gone - and how they have avoided taxes.

Any of the major corporations that are facing collapse or making workers redundant should be nationalised, with no compensation for the billionaire bosses, and run as public services under democratic workers' control.

After 2008 there was a public outcry at bankers' bonuses that even the Tory press was forced to echo to a certain extent. But once the furore had died down, there was a concerted propaganda campaign to shift the burden onto the working class, especially through cuts to public services, and to justify an enormous austerity programme.

This time, working people will not lightly accept further attacks while the rich laugh all the way to the bank.

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: 


In The Socialist 6 May 2020:

What we think

Bosses push to lift lockdown - they only care about profits

Coronavirus news

Dispatches from the NHS front

Bail out the real wealth creators, not the rich

Homes needed to end overcrowding

Homeless left on streets during pandemic

Pay full fees for virtual courses? - No way!


Your donations can keep the Socialist going

Test and trace

Test and trace: workers need a real plan

Tories using pandemic to shift lab testing out of NHS

Workplace news

Nationalise British Airways to stop 12,000 redundancies

Postal workers force Royal Mail back

No increase in transport capacity without adequate safety precautions for workers and passengers

Unsafe Workplace? "It's up to you" PCS tells reps and members

Further protests in Ireland against Debenhams closures - UK fightback needed

Rolls Royce threatens 8,000 job losses

EDF Energy workers furloughed on 100% pay

International news

India: Fighting the curse of capitalism and coronavirus

US: Trump's public health cuts have condemned thousands worldwide

Trump puts profit before safety (again)

Lessons from history

The Tyneside apprentices' strike during WW2


Peter Hadden remembered

Readers' opinion

Going viral: Socialist comments and letters on the corona crisis

TV Review BBC Panorama: PPE shortage - how many lives will be lost?


Home   |   The Socialist 6 May 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


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

triangleRich get handouts - workers get pay cuts

triangleEnd health and wealth divide - Fight for our NHS

triangleThem & Us


triangle1,600 less benefits if your job goes - while super-rich splash cash

triangleNationalise to save jobs threatened by Covid-19 and downturn

triangleImmigration: For a system that meets the needs of the majority, not a rich elite

triangleThe rich fund the Tories and Blairites, so help fund the working-class fightback


triangleFund NHS and pay rise now

triangleTV: The English Game - how the working class made football the people's game

triangleCovid and the campuses


triangleThailand: Youth rising against hated junta

triangleNorth East lockdown: simmering anger at Tory incompetence


triangleUnder the microscope: socialist coronavirus news in brief


triangleCaerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: The fight for jobs

British Airways:

triangleGE Aviation workers march to save jobs

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis



Extend eviction ban! Cap rents! Build council homes!



Testing shambles: unions must fight back



Covid and the campuses



North East lockdown: simmering anger at Tory incompetence



Fund NHS and pay rise now



Tory Covid chaos



'FinCEN Files' expose rampant financial corruption: nationalise the banks!



News in brief



Johnson's schools social-distancing lie



Britain's fragile Covid equilibrium is coming to an end



NHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!



Capitalist profit and the race to develop a vaccine



Covid and the third sector: for public planning, not charity stopgaps



Under the microscope



'Covid marshalls' must be accountable to communities

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



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


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: 075 4018 9052

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



Alphabetical listing

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020