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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 August 2015

Them & Us

Them and us fishes, image Suzanne Beishon

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

Unaffordable housing

The government's revamped Right to Buy housing scheme is essentially a massive subsidy to private landlords. A report from Inside Housing reveals that in 91 councils in England, which responded to a freedom of information request, nearly 40% of council houses sold under the heavily discounted scheme (up to £100,000 in London) have ended up in the hands of private landlords - who then charge up to seven times the average social rent. In one local authority, Milton Keynes, 70% of ex-council properties are now being sublet.

With the government set to extend the right to buy scheme to Housing Association properties it's clear that 'affordable housing' is something of the distant past - unless we fight back!

95%

The average price of student accommodation now consumes 95% of the maximum student loan.

Top dogs whining

"Surprise drop in top dog pay" barked the headline of City AM, a big business free sheet. They were annoyed at a High Pay Centre (HPC) report showing that chief executives (CEOs) of firms in the FTSE top 100 only 'earned' on average £4.96 million last year. The median annual pay for these firms' full time employees was £27,195.

The restrained HPC report said that this 183:1 differential was "far beyond what is sensible to inspire top executives", having increased from an already massive 160:1 figure in 2010. But City AM protested: "Adjusted for inflation, the average CEO would have collected £5.04 million the year before". The poor top dogs are losing out!

City AM may favour caviar banks for CEOs such as Sir Martin Sorrell (£43 million last year), we prefer solutions based on nationalisation of the top companies under democratic workers' control.

£100,000

The total expenses claimed by members of the House of Lords who didn't bother to vote in the last parliamentary session. Between 2010 and 2015, £360,000 in total was claimed by 62 peers who didn't vote.

Unfair fares

Rail fares charged by the highly profitable and government subsidised private train operating companies (TOCs), have soared by 25% since 2010, while average pay has gone up by 9% - according to a study backed by the TUC and rail unions.

The government has bragged that regulated rail fares, which include season tickets and day returns, have been capped to inflation-only increases. However, the TOCs get round this by ramping up unregulated fares ie long distance routes, off peak leisure and advance purchase tickets etc. Some of these fares have gone up by as much as 200% in the last decade. No wonder the demand for rail nationalisation is very popular among the travelling public.

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The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

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In The Socialist 19 August 2015:


Socialist Party features

The Labour Party, Militant and 'infiltration'

Gulf War 'unfinished business' remains today


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Subscribe to the Socialist!

Fascists caged, humiliated and driven out of Liverpool

We won't pay for their crisis!

Anger at bus service cuts in Sheffield

TUSC by-election boost in Grimsby and Cleethorpes


Socialist Party news and analysis

Corbyn stand: A welcome upheaval in British politics

Solidarity with the Polish workers' strike

Government discrimination against EU workers

Kids Company closure

Them & Us


Workplace news and analysis

Socialist challenges right winger for Unison leadership

National Gallery all-out strike goes on as bosses sell off jobs

London tube's summer of strikes joined by First Great Western

Probation and courts union Napo needs socialist leadership

Uni unions ready Manchester jobs fight

Retail union must fight Sunday trading deregulation

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Building a new left alternative after Syriza capitulation

Ireland: drop the prosecutions, scrap the water charges

US: Kshama Sawant leads Seattle primary elections count on 50%


 

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Related links:

Them & Us:

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Fares:

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Housing:

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Student:

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Inflation:

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Council:

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House of Lords:

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Big business:

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Accommodation:

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