News in brief
Poorest hit hardest
One million will be 10% worse off due to the £20-a-week Universal Credit cut. And with income going down, the costs of food, gas and electricity are going up. The poorest tenth of the population spend 21.1% of their income on these items, the richest tenth, 9.5%. For the poorest, it hits hardest - that is the consequence of Tory attacks.
Shorter lives and longer waits
Not only are the lives of the poorest in society getting shorter, but the amount of time spent on an NHS waiting list is growing too. If you live in the most deprived areas, the time spent waiting for a routine treatment on the NHS is up 50%, compared to 35% in more affluent areas.
Something else that is growing is the wealth of the super-rich. We say, use some of the £106 billion that was added to Britain's billionaire's bank accounts last year to pay for decent healthcare for all.
Two-faced Tesco has been speaking in riddles, telling the government one thing and unions another. The company has told the government that it is facing a driver shortfall that could lead to empty supermarket shelves at Christmas, but claims in pay negotiations with the union that it has a 400-driver waiting list to join the company. The reason for this doublespeak is revealed when Tesco says that it "does not believe it needs to substantially raise the wages of lorry drivers" in negotiations!
The government "has no strategy and no measurable objectives" to reduce child poverty, according to the chair of the cross-party work and pensions select committee. Before the pandemic, 31% of children in the UK were in poverty - 4.3 million. The pandemic will almost certainly have increased those figures.
You could argue that the government has a plan to increase child poverty. That is the effects of its policies - £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit, public sector pay freeze, rise in national insurance, etc.
In The Socialist 29 September 2021:
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