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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 March 2010

Fast news

Taxing issue

AFTER YEARS of dodging the question, Tory grandee and fundraiser Lord Ashcroft, has revealed that he is indeed a tax-exempt 'non-dom'.

His company Bearwood Corporate Services Limited has been the largest single contributor to the Tories since 2005.

The Tory deputy party chairman's non-domicile status means that he has not paid a penny in tax on his substantial overseas earnings and holdings (estimated at 1.1 billion) as he is registered in the Central American tax haven of Belize. He also is its permanent UN representative.

Ashcroft was given a peerage under Tony Blair's government in 2000. His title was conditional on giving up his Belize residency, something that he has only now agreed to do in anticipation of the release of information on his peerage by the Cabinet Office.

A red-faced David Cameron, all too aware of his narrowing poll lead over Labour, winced: "You have to respect people's privacy and you have to respect the view that someone's tax status is a matter between them and the Revenue."

His lordship declined to comment on paying any back taxes and Cameron declined to say whether he would return Ashcroft's multi-million pound donations to the Tory party.

Lord above

UNFORTUNATELY FOR 'I wouldn't harm a fly' Gordon Brown, the Labour Party is unable to politically capitalise on the Tory Party's misfortune. It turns out that one of Labour's biggest donors, Lord Paul - the country's 88th richest person - is also a non-dom.

Paul attempted to deflect any criticism with the excuse that his donations to Labour had come from his British company, not from him personally.

Last year it was revealed that his lordship had claimed 38,000 in expenses for a flat as his main residence outside London, even though he admitted never having spent a night there.

Asked whether he would consider changing his tax status as Lord Ashcroft has indicated he will do, Lord Paul said: "Let's wait for the law to pass. It is not a question right now." That means "no" then.

NHS demo

On 27 February, 3,000 people marched through Holloway in north London in a noisy demonstration organised by the 'Defend Whittington Hospital campaign'. They were protesting against the threat to close the accident and emergency and maternity units at Whittington Hospital.

A closing rally included speakers from several different workplaces including the local bus garage and from the hospital's Unison union branch. Other speakers included David Lammy the Labour MP for Tottenham and the LibDem leader of Islington council, both of whom hypocritically support this campaign whilst supporting policies of public sector cuts and privatisation that are responsible for this crisis in the NHS.

Socialist Party members sold 90 copies of The Socialist and handed out 1,000 leaflets with the demands: "No to NHS cuts and privatisation" and "build a national movement to defend the NHS."

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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.

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In The Socialist 3 March 2010:

Fighting for jobs, services and conditions

PCS: All Out to Defend Jobs and Services

Stop council cuts


Youth fight for jobs

Invest in jobs, education & Training

Cut the working hours, not the jobs!

Portsmouth students and workers unite to fight cuts

Brighton students say: Save our nursery

EMA inadequacy impacts badly on students


International socialist news and analysis

Building action across Europe

Greece - millions take part in general strike

Spain: Thousands join mass demonstrations


Socialist Party news and analysis

The fairytale world of RBS

Nationalise the energy giants

Activists launch socialist challenge

Walsgrave hospital Coventry: Stop the parking charges rip-off

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

Where is the BA cabin crew dispute going?

Smash the bosses' construction blacklist!

Leeds lecturers win concessions - but cuts remain to be fought

Workplace news: In brief


Unison

Unison general secretary election: Nominate Roger Bannister

Legal ruling exposes hypocrisy of Unison leadership


The Socialist Interview

FBU general secretary speaks to The Socialist


Socialist Party women

Women will be at the fore in the fightback!


Media

Global media monster News International condemned

The hounding of Tommy Sheridan

Savage cuts planned at the Beeb


Football

Supporters should own Pompey, not developers


Socialist Party feature

The worldwide thievery of big business


 

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Related links:

Labour:

triangleWhy we joined the Socialist Party

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: The Labour Party - what is its future?

triangleNon-fiction: Left Out - the inside story of Labour under Corbyn

triangleTUSC to stand in elections again against pro-austerity politicians

triangleA critical election for Unison general secretary

NHS:

triangleFund NHS and pay rise now

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

triangleCoventry: scrap 'profit before people' hospital parking charges

triangleAngry health workers demand 15% now!

Tax:

triangleNews in brief

triangleThem & Us

triangle30 years since the huge anti-poll tax demo... And how mass non-payment of the tax was built

Hospital:

triangleScrap hospital parking charges

triangleSick pay victory at Homerton hospital!

Lord Ashcroft:

triangleQuiz of the year

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