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24 November 2021

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Working class strangled by price rises and pay cuts

Glasgow cleansing workers strike, photo Philip Stott

Glasgow cleansing workers strike, photo Philip Stott   (Click to enlarge)

Ryan Aldred, Socialist Party national committee

Few can ignore the eye-watering cost of living crisis. When even the likes of the Daily Mail are highlighting the effects of the 10-year-high inflation figures, it underlines how bad it is!

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released a whole series of damning figures which underline just how hard working-class people are being hit. Transport prices up 9.9% from last year, an 18.8% rocketing up of electricity prices, and a giant leap in gas prices, up 28.1%. With food also rising by 2.1% in October, and fuel jumping by more than 22%, it's no wonder that people are feeling the pinch.

It is estimated that, with the Consumer Price Index measuring inflation rising to 4.2% in October, households would need to spend on average an extra 21 a week, or over 1,000 a year, just to buy the same basket of goods. This in itself is bad enough, but with the government's recent slashing of Universal Credit by 20 a week, many of the poorest households could find themselves effectively 2,000 worse off each year.

Moreover, the Tories, self-proclaimed defenders of hard-working families, have offered some of those who have worked the hardest throughout the pandemic nothing short of insulting pay increases that don't even meet inflation. This includes NHS staff, teaching support staff and teachers who were graciously 'awarded' a real-terms pay cut!

The Bank of England has provided little hope of respite, with models projecting that inflation could continue to rise, hitting around 5% by next April as bosses aim to claw back lost profits through the pandemic by raising prices.

While working-class families struggle to make ends meet, the government has been mired in an ever-deepening scandal as Tory MPs try to account for six-figure second jobs in addition to an already-inflated 81,932 a year plus expenses. As his deputies attempt to justify lucrative second jobs, and begin to lose their grip on the economy, it's a wonder that Boris Johnson has been able to keep his first job!

It's clear that the Tories and their paymasters, the bosses, seek to make working-class people pay for the pandemic. The government and the bosses have made it clear, they won't willingly give workers a decent pay rise without a fight.

We say that the Universal Credit uplift should be restored and the minimum wage should be raised to 15 an hour without exemptions. With some victories already chalked up - like the South Wales bus drivers' strike victory, and many more unions preparing ballots for industrial action, workers will be making it clear that we want decent pay, not more Peppa Pigs at the trough!

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In The Socialist 24 November 2021:


Workers' action can defeat weak and divided Tories

Working class strangled by price rises and pay cuts

Poorer pensioners fleeced by social care cap

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Slough: Adult service cuts will leave vulnerable homeless

Northampton: Phoney consultation to mask cuts

Selling the Socialist


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Related links:


triangleNorthampton: Phoney consultation to mask cuts

triangleSlough: Adult service cuts will leave vulnerable homeless

triangleWest Sussex: Payouts for council bosses, cuts for us

triangleVictory! Hackney children's centres saved

triangleAn appeal to trade union members to stand as anti-cuts candidates

Working class:

triangleChartism: The world's first working-class movement

triangle10 years since Occupy

triangleWorking class under attack

triangleSocialist Party: Solely funded by the working class


triangleSupport uni workers' walk-out on pay and pensions

triangleTesco warehouse workers ballot for strike action

triangleSage care home workers' pay victory



triangleCamden Socialist Party: The economy - will inflation become a problem again?


triangleObituary: Ted Austin (1940-2021) - working-class socialist stalwart


triangleSudan: "Hamdok has sold the revolution!"

Article dated 24 November 2021

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triangle29 Nov Leeds Socialist Party: Fighting gender biased violence

triangle30 Nov Caerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: A civil war without guns - Miners' strike 1984-5

triangle30 Nov Cardiff West Socialist Party: Lessons of October - The Russian Revolution 1917


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