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22 October 2014

Them & Us

Classless Ukip?

Ukip claims to represent 'all social classes'. So what is the commons voting record of Ukip's newest MP, Tory defector Douglas Carswell?

He voted for: 9,000 a year tuition fees; the bedroom tax; reducing the rate of corporation tax; ending financial support to 16-19 year olds in further education and training; the privatisation of Royal Mail; restricting the scope of legal aid; capping civil service redundancy payments; privatising forests...

He voted against: a bankers' bonus tax; restrictions on fees charged to tenants by letting agents; a mansion tax; equal gay rights; raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices; slowing the rise in rail fares...

Not much support for the working and middle classes here then!

Private landlords in England are receiving in excess of 32 billion earnings in rents from tenants a year, or nearly 2.7 billion a month

Less is more

In the last decade, gas and electricity customers have seen their bills rise a massive 52% above inflation, adding an average 410 per household according to Which, the consumer magazine. This is despite, and probably leading to, domestic energy consumption falling by 17% over the same period.

Caring Labour

Care UK strikers in Doncaster recently lobbied local MP and Labour leader Ed Miliband for his support in their months-long pay cuts battle and to defend the NHS.

Perhaps Ed could have a word with former Labour health secretary Alan Milburn - now the Con-Dems government's social mobility tsar. The Blairite ex-minister also happens to be on the European advisory panel to Bridgepoint Capital the private equity company which owns Care UK.

The world's richest 1% own nearly half of $263 trillion global wealth

Living wage

Don't hold back when demanding a pay rise from your boss. Tyrel Oates, an employee of Wells Fargo in the US, co-emailed 200,000 fellow workers with a message sent to the company's head: "My proposal is take $3 billion, just a small fraction of what Wells Fargo pulls in annually, and raise every employee's annual salary by $10,000."

In response, the company says its workers' wages are "market competitive". Wells Fargo made $5.7 billion profit in the second quarter of 2014 and paid its CEO $19 million last year.

Affordable housing

The National Housing Federation reckons workers need an 108,500 annual wage in order to buy a home across London as a whole. However, in Kensington and Chelsea a house buyer needs an annual salary of 378,380 to buy an averaged priced home.

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