For bankers and bosses, it is the best of times. For ordinary working people, it is the worst of times.
CEO pay is back to pre-pandemic levels, at £3.6 million pounds a year on average. Their bonuses, meanwhile, are almost at a five-year high.
At the other end of society, the working class faces increasing hardship and despair. Inflation – currently at 9%, and set to rise even higher – is eating away at workers’ pockets. And extortionate energy bill rises are pushing millions into fuel poverty.
As profits rise, workers are being squeezed by falling wages and a cost of living catastrophe. We need to bring down the Tories; to bring down capitalism; and to bring the working class to power.— Socialist Appeal (@socialist_app) June 9, 2022
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In response, the Tories have announced a one-off £400 payment to all households. But heating and electricity costs are going to increase by double or triple this paltry sum.
This sticking plaster is to be funded by a ‘windfall tax’ of 25% on the mega-profits of the energy giants – a drop in the ocean for these fat cats.
Starmer’s Labour, meanwhile, has criticised this proposal: not because it falls far short of what is needed, but because it might hurt the value of the energy companies and their shares!
Price hikes are only one side of the problem. Attacks on real wages – by the bosses and the Tories – are the other.
Left Labour MPs have suggested campaigning for a £15 minimum wage to address this. This would be a welcome gain. But even such an improvement would be short lived; quickly eaten away by rising inflation. What we need is a sliding scale of wages, with pay linked to prices.
In any case, the Tories have no intention of raising the minimum wage. In fact, they are threatening attacks on jobs, pay, and conditions for public sector workers. And, as a government of the bosses, their priority is to protect the profits of the capitalists.
Getting ready to #DemandBetter at tomorrow's TUC demo.— tye ☭ (@bolsh3vik) June 17, 2022
✅ New issue of Socialist Appeal
✅ Placards with revolutionary slogans
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What we need is a genuine, lasting solution; a cure that tackles not the symptoms, but the real disease: capitalism.
This means nationalising the monopolies and the banks – without compensation, and under democratic workers’ control. The wealth of the billionaire class must be expropriated, not just taxed.
We need economic planning to do away with the anarchy of the capitalist market, and the parasitical profiteering of the bosses.
Only such a programme – a bold socialist programme – can guarantee a decent future for workers and youth.
This is what the trade union leaders should militantly fight for. This means smashing through the Tories’ anti-union laws, and launching coordinated action across the movement: to galvanise workers, bring down this criminal government, and overthrow the bosses’ system.