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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 February 2022

Essex cuts racket must end

TUSC stands 100% against cuts and council tax increases. Photo: Paul Mattsson

TUSC stands 100% against cuts and council tax increases. Photo: Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Dave Murray, Essex Socialist Party

Essex Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is meeting on 1 February to discuss what services people need locally, especially council housing, and how to fight for this at the local elections in May.

The government's measure of housing need is heavily biased towards the interests of property developers. So it is very difficult to assess the real position.

In Basildon, Essex, official figures say 17,109 new homes need to be built by 2034. But there's no indication from these numbers of the kind of housing we actually need - that is, genuinely affordable council housing.

Official homelessness statistics are not very reliable. They add the number of people sleeping rough, which is done by body count, and the number of people in temporary accommodation arranged by local authorities.

In April 2020, Essex Live compiled the figures and came up with 5,246 homeless people in the county. This does not reflect the number of people sofa surfing or living in insecure or unfit housing, who do not qualify for help under homelessness legislation.

Local authority housing registers are also extremely unreliable. Since 2011, councils can restrict people's ability to apply for social housing, allowing them to dramatically shrink waiting lists without providing any additional social housing. Basildon's housing register has less than 2,000 people on it - a gross underestimate of the need for council housing.

The average price of an Essex house is £410,187. The official definition of 'affordability' is 80% of the market rate.

This means that a house costing £328,149 is considered affordable, even though it is roughly nine times the local average salary. Of course, most people earn less than the 'average' £38,000.

In Basildon, both Labour and Tory administrations have invested in a commercial housebuilding operation, Sempra, which is doing nothing to meet local housing need. Councils of every political colour have got into bed with the property developers.

TUSC, which the Socialist Party is part of, says:

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In The Socialist 2 February 2022:


News

Tories attack UC recipients with 'get any job' threat

NHS mandatory vaccination to be ditched

NI rise piled onto shoulders of the lowest paid

Gas and electric bills set to soar by 50% this year

Covering basic costs is hard, and it's getting worse


International news

Ukraine: Workers' unity needed

Northern Ireland: Bloody Sunday 50 years on

School students strike in Austria

Coup d'état in Burkina Faso

France: Education workers and students walkout


TUSC

Tories Out!

Dave Nellist standing for Birmingham Erdington

Why a socialist candidate for Birmingham Erdington is vital

Hackney Unison to encourage anti-cuts candidates

Essex cuts racket must end

Portsmouth: Council workers leaving and tenants' double whammy

TUSC by-elections round-up


Workers fighting back

The winter strike wave escalates as workers fight back and win

NHS workers begin strike for 15% and against outsourcing

Victory at NewVIc college! 'The picket line gives us power'

Coventry bins: all-out against strike-breaking Labour council

Scunny scaffs strike restarts with a bang, barricades and a win!

PCS 2022 elections

Workplace news in brief


Campaigns news

Tories sinking, workers rising - help fund the socialist fightback

May Day Greetings: Back the paper that backs the working class

Why I joined: I'm tired of austerity and status quo

Socialist Students getting organised for 2 March walkout


Review

Belfast: Worth watching portrayal of previously airbrushed workers' unity


 

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Related links:

Essex:

triangleEssex: Why I'm standing for TUSC

triangleThurrock bin workers solid in strike against pay cuts

triangle39 migrants found dead in Essex lorry container

triangleSainsbury's distribution workers' second 24-hour strike against cuts to sick pay

triangleAngry Usdaw members strike at Sainsbury's distribution centre over sick pay cut

Cuts:

triangleSurrey: Unions and campaigns say stand as an anti-cuts candidate

triangleBrighton Green and Labour cuts - workers and communities fight back

triangleRestore Cardiff's slashed services

triangleTrade union support for standing anti-cuts election candidates

Housing:

triangleStop eviction of Camden homeless collective

triangleSouthampton West Socialist Party: The crisis in housing

triangleEviction resistance on the march in Waltham Forest

Council:

triangleNewham City Farm - closed with no consultation

triangleCoventry bin strikers lobby strike-breaking Labour council

Basildon:

triangleTV: Ross Kemp - Living with Forced Out Families

TUSC:

triangleVote Nellist for a workers' MP in Erdington

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

23/2/22

Cardiff

Restore Cardiff's slashed services

23/2/22

Pay

Just Eat couriers continue action to fight pay cut

23/2/22

UCU

University workers continue strike against bosses' attacks

23/2/22

London

Tube workers strike in defence of pay, pensions and conditions

23/2/22

Students

Workers and students unite and fight

23/2/22

Fees

Fighting fees and marketisation after 2 March student walkout

23/2/22

Brighton

Brighton Green and Labour cuts - workers and communities fight back

23/2/22

Anti-cuts

Surrey: Unions and campaigns say stand as an anti-cuts candidate

23/2/22

Newham

Newham City Farm - closed with no consultation

23/2/22

Women

London Socialist Party women's meeting

23/2/22

Socialist

1 March: Socialist Party new website launch

23/2/22

Coventry

Coventry bin strikers lobby strike-breaking Labour council

23/2/22

Strike

Scunny scaffs action forces bosses to the table

23/2/22

Usdaw

Usdaw: 'Reinstate Max' week of action

23/2/22

Anti-cuts

Trade union support for standing anti-cuts election candidates

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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