Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/451/5399
From The Socialist newspaper, 10 August 2006
Sinking under a debt mountain
"ANOTHER DAY older and deeper in debt" goes the lyric of the 16 Tons
song. Unfortunately, this is an all too accurate description of personal
indebtedness in Britain today.
Latest figures show repossessions and debt levels are at a 15-year
high with a record 26,000 people becoming insolvent in England and Wales
during the second three months of 2006 - a 66% increase on the same
period in 2005. The number of personal insolvencies is expected to
exceed 100,000 by the end of the year.
But while the high street banks were complaining of having to make
provision for more bad debt, they were less vocal about the huge rise in
bank profits this year. Barclays, for example, notched up a staggering
37% increase in profits for the first half of 2006, raking in a massive
£3.67 billion. In fact, the profit per customer at UK banks rose 13.3%
in 2005 to £75 from £66.20 in 2004.
The recent decision of the Bank of England to increase interest rates
and a likely further increase later this year will increase the cost of
borrowing and push up mortgages and other personal debts. And as the
growth in the economy has largely been fuelled by the property market
and consumer spending, the signs of a looming recession are becoming
The hike in oil prices, pushing up inflation and dampening consumer
spending, is already having a big impact on cooling the five-year long
US property boom, which has been largely responsible for economic
growth. Some 43% of all the jobs created in the US between 2001-2005
were in housing construction.
A recession in the US and Britain will further tighten the screws on
workers' living standards as the bosses attempt to make us pay for their
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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.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 10 August 2006:
War and terrorism
Israel out of Lebanon now!
Afghanistan - NATO troops face a resurgent Taliban
Iraq - a country splitting along sectarian lines
Huge protest against the invasion of Lebanon
Police given licence to terrorise
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Fighting to defend the health service
Socialist Party campaigns
Young = exploited
Tommy Sheridan's victory over News of the World
Sinking under a debt mountain
Socialist Party workplace news
DWP: Action gets results
Lincs firefighters fight cuts
Inspiring film of GAMA struggle
The Socialist 10 August 2006 |
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