Social and Economic Policy

Reverse the inequality spiral!

Submitted by Matthew on 6 December, 2017 - 12:57 Author: Colin Foster
Reverse the inequality spiral

The share prices of big companies (the FTSE 100) continue to rise. Top bosses' pay dropped a bit between 2015 and 2016, but is on a long-term trend to rise faster than workers' wages, and stood at £3.45 million in 2016 (median pay for FTSE 100 CEOs). The average profit rate of UK firms (outside finance and outside the North Sea oilfields) recovered entirely a long time ago from its dip in 2008-9, and is now around 13%, compared to 8% in 2001.

Catalonia: rights and unity Matthew Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:00
Catalonia protest

Editorial from Solidarity 454

On Saturday 11 November, 750,000 people (on the city police’s count) demonstrated in Barcelona to demand the release of Catalan government ministers and pro-independence association activists jailed by the Madrid regime to await trial on charges such as sedition. A general strike called by a pro-independence union confederation, Intersindical-CSC, under the slogan “Defend Our Rights”, on Wednesday 8 November, also had impact.

Seize their wealth!

Submitted by Matthew on 8 November, 2017 - 8:58 Author: Cathy Nugent
Seize their wealth

Another day, another revelation. The super-rich avoid paying tax.

The leak of 13.4 million data files (the “Paradise Papers”) to the Süddeutsche Zeitung in Germany, shared with media around the world, has shone a light on the pathologically anti-social behaviour of the rich pile up their wealth and refusing to contribute to the financing of hospitals, schools and the care of the old, sick and disabled.

Trump’s trade turn is regressive

Submitted by Matthew on 25 October, 2017 - 10:35 Author: Editorial
NAFTA

“Anyone who thinks [Donald Trump] has dropped his vow to rip up the global trading system has not been paying attention”, wrote Edward Luce in the Financial Times (18 October), after the fourth round of US-Mexican-Canadian talks on Nafta, the North American Free Trade Agreement, closed on 17 October.

How to get the Tories out Matthew Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:06

After May’s woeful Party conference speech, the Tories are more divided than ever. But their conference has also left them in an impasse. They can’t easily sack Theresa May because she was the unity candidate for Leader and the Tories who supported her don’t yet have a plan B. There is no sign of an acceptable alternative to May.

Labour and the 3.6% swing Matthew Wed, 10/04/2017 - 11:07

The Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore describes the Tory conference: “May visibly flinching at a direct question, in her babble of repetitive phrases that mean nothing. It is as if she is not really there. There is a vacancy at the top”.

Bookmakers now make Jeremy Corbyn the favourite to be next prime minister. Their second-most-rated, at about 6/1 against, are Boris Johnson, David Davis, and Philip Hammond.

Tories: clueless and callous Matthew Wed, 10/04/2017 - 10:47

In an interview with the BBC shortly before Tory Party Conference opened, Theresa May told Andrew Marr: “As Conservatives, the arguments that we thought we’d had and won during the 1980s about the importance of free market economies — I think we thought there was a general consensus on that. And we now see that there wasn’t.”

£54 billion for private landlords

Submitted by Matthew on 4 October, 2017 - 8:46 Author: Gerry Bates

Private landlords have become the dominant force in housing in Britain, raking in £54 billion in rent in the year June 2016 to June 2017, while the interest paid by house-buyers to banks and financiers went down to £27 billion.

Almost half the rent payments are made by younger people, and the slice of household income spent on housing has trebled over the past 50 years.

Young people pay higher rents for smaller, less secure rented flats and houses, and have longer commutes, than in the 1960s.

Claw back the wealth!

Submitted by Matthew on 3 July, 2017 - 12:01 Author: Editorial

Under pressure to do a deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, the Tories have found £1 billion extra for public services in Northern Ireland, the equivalent pro rata to £29 billion in England. They have also sneaked through a huge pay rise for the Queen, from £43 million in 2016 to £82 million in 2019. On 28 June they voted down Labour’s proposal to lift the public sector pay limit.
More pressure — strikes, demonstrations, rallies — can make them budge on that, too.

Grenfell: the powerful are still not listening

Submitted by Matthew on 3 July, 2017 - 11:46 Author: Charlotte Zalens

So far all 95 tower blocks which have had their cladding tested since the fire at Grenfell in Kensington, west London, have failed fire safety standards. These buildings are potentially as dangerous for their tenants as Grenfell was. Many hundreds of buildings are still to be tested.