Social and Economic Policy

Equalise the wealth!

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Editorial

According to NHS bosses, the Health Service needs an extra £8 billion a year by 2020 to cope with an ageing population and new medical technologies. Or a total of £30 billion on top of the Government’s projections.

Those figures, £8 billion and £30 billion, are both both big numbers. They are much bigger than the £2.5 billion which the Labour leaders have promised to add to the NHS budget from a mansion tax.

They are also small. They are small compared to the £297 billion which is the total wealth of just the hundred richest people in Britain.

Worldwide, a tiny minority, just the richest 1%, own more than 48% of global wealth. Just 85 of the world’s richest people own £1,000 billion between them, as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world’s population.

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The socialist answer to UKIP

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Editorial

Tory defector Douglas Carswell became UKIP’s first elected MP on 9 October, and another Tory defector, Mark Reckless, may win on 20 November in Rochester and Strood. We examine UKIP’s manifesto.

UKIP: “Migrants are a drain on UK resources, including benefits and NHS”

A socialist response to UKIP's mainfesto.

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The rich up 15%, the rest down

Real wages in the public sector went down 15% between 2008 and 2013. Across the economy real wages have fallen by 8.2%.

Across the economy the average wage rise last year, concentrated in manufacturing and financial services, was just 2% in money terms. Price inflation was 2% (CPI) or 2.7% (RPI). Over half of the wage rises were below RPI. In a sample survey of wage settlements for six million workers between August 2013 and August 2014, 13% faced a wage freeze and only 8.3% had a wage rise above 3%.

Real wages in the public sector went down 15% between 2008 and 2013. Across the economy real wages have fallen by 8.2%.

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The Monthly Survey

Socialists must support Scottish self-determination (Dale Street)
Labours maundy money (Martin Thomas)
The Fragile Middle East peace (Mike Fenwick)
TUC leaders bow down to Blair

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Trade Unions: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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For Open Borders and Free Migration!

My Dear Brewer:—
Have just read the majority report of the [Socialist Party] Committee on
Immigration. It is utterly un-socialistic, reactionary, and in truth

A 1910 Letter on Immigration and the proper Socialist position on it, by Eugene V. Debs, the Presidential Candidate of the Socialist Party USA.

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What UKIP stands for

What does UKIP stand for?

What does UKIP stand for?

1. UKIP are a bosses party in favour of tax cuts for the rich. They want to abolish inheritance tax and cut taxes for business. They would axe public services, reduce state pensions, and cut funding to schools and colleges.

2. Nigel Farage claimed £2 million expenses from Europe for the last four years. He registered an off shore Trust Fund in the Isle of Man to avoid paying taxes

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Nationalise the energy companies!

The official regulator for the energy industry, Ofgem, reported on 27 March that suppliers’ retail profits — from selling energy to households and businesses — had risen to £1.1 billion in 2012 from £233m in 2009. No austerity for the energy bosses!

It also found “a pattern of suppliers raising prices more rapidly and to a greater extent in response to an increase in costs than they reduce prices in response to a fall in costs”.

The official regulator for the energy industry, Ofgem, reported on 27 March that suppliers’ retail profits — from selling energy to households and businesses — had risen to £1.1 billion in 2012 from £233m in 2009.

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Cap pay-outs to the rich!

On 26 March the coalition government voted through a law to “cap” welfare benefits for future years. Most Labour MPs voted for the “cap”. Only 13 rebelled.

We should instead “cap” the huge pay-outs being made to the rich.

Inequality in Britain has been rising since 1979, and is now soaring. Real wages, on average, are still going down, despite all the talk of economic recovery.

On 26 March the coalition government voted through a law to “cap” welfare benefits for future years. Most Labour MPs voted for the “cap”. Only 13 rebelled.

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Threat to annuities

Robin Blackburn, author of Age Shock: How Finance is failing us and other books, comments on pension changes made in George Osborne’s Budget.


I can understand why there has been a reluctance to criticise allowing holders of pension plans to cash out their pension pot rather than being forced to buy an annuity at retirement. In recent years, with miserable interest rates, annuities barely keep pace with inflation.

About half of all tax relief goes to the top 10 per cent of earners.

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