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From: The Socialist issue 880, 25 November 2015: Back doctors' strikes

Search site for keywords: Them & Us - US - Cuts - Workers - London - Tax - Budget - Housing - George Osborne - Institute of Directors

Them & Us

Them and us fishes, image by Suzanne Beishon

Them and us fishes, image by Suzanne Beishon   (Click to enlarge)

Flatshares v Bond lairs

The rent on an average two-bed London flat could exceed 2,000 a month by 2020 at current rates of increase. That's not much less than the combined gross salaries of two minimum-wage workers.

But while the housing crisis worsens for us, the super-rich live like Bond villains - literally. The secret lair of evil genius Blofeld - baddy in Daniel Craig's latest outing Spectre - is up for sale. With stunning vistas and easy access to Marrakech, the Moroccan bolthole will set you back a mere 2.8 million.

2,007

Projected average monthly rent for a two-bed flat in London by 2020

2,773

Projected gross monthly pay for two full-time, minimum-wage workers in 2020


Baron v workers

Simon Wolfson, boss of retail chain Next, complained this month that paying staff a living wage would dent his profits. The Tory peer lashed out at poverty-stricken workers, declaring that 6.70 an hour is "enough to live on".

Unless you're Baron Wolfson of Aspley Guise, of course. Then you need 330 times that. The chief executive, son of Next's former chair, trousered 4.6 million this year.


Cuts v handouts

The Institute of Directors surveyed its members and found 85% want Tory Chancellor George Osborne to keep on cutting. This is no surprise - the Tory nirvana of 'budget surplus' means reduced tax on their mind-blowing profits.

But what about the 93 billion in subsidies and tax breaks the state hands to big business every year? Wouldn't that go some way to closing his 70 billion deficit? Apparently not - businesses are already threatening to 'leave' if Labour left winger Jeremy Corbyn becomes prime minister.

The Socialist says: reverse all cuts. Redirect corporate handout money to jobs and services. And if the bosses don't want to stay, let them go - but nationalise their firms and assets under democratic workers' control.

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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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