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From: The Socialist issue 838, 7 January 2015: Bankers get bonuses... workers get the boot

Search site for keywords: Them & Us - Tax - Council tax - Government - Council - Pay - European - Europe - Cuts

Them & Us

Fat cat City bankers were paid an average of 1.3 million last year, making their pay packages worth almost 50 times the average annual wage in the UK


Rotten boroughs

Over 635,000 homes lie empty across the country, 259,000 of which have been vacant for over six months, while the number of homeless people and those on housing waiting lists continue to soar.

Councils can charge 150% council tax on properties that have been empty for two years but many have yet to enforce this policy - and at a maximum levy of 1,000 for even the largest homes it is of little deterrent for the top end of the market.

Meanwhile, some 350 million worth of rotting mansions are sitting vacant on just one street - 'billionaire's row' - in north London, mainly owned by overseas investors.


Austerity tax

Government cuts will mean a further two million low-income families will face higher council tax bills in April. This is in addition to 2.4 million low-income households who have seen their council tax support cut in the last two years. They too will have to pay more as local councils (many Labour run) simply pass on the Tory cuts.


Andy's pals

Meeting residential costs isn't a problem for scandal hit prince Andrew - who was living in a 22,000 a week luxury Swiss chalet when the media storm broke.

Andy receives 249,000 a year from mum and he also gets some help paying the bills from his pals - for instance Timur Kuulibayev, son-in-law of the Kazakhstan dictator Nazarbayev. Timur generously paid 15 million for Andy's old country pile in Sunninghill Park - 3 million above the asking price.


Smoking gun

Air pollution from motor vehicle emissions and industry is a major killer, causing 400,000 premature deaths in Europe - 29,000 in the UK alone.

Prime Minister David Cameron's shameless promotion of big business profits ahead of people's health has already landed the UK government in the European Court of Justice for exceeding air pollution limits.

However, it seemed that the PM received an early Christmas present when it was revealed in late December that the European Commission had, after lobbying by the capitalist 'Business Europe' association, secretly agreed to ditch a new, tougher, air quality bill.


By 2018 there will be one million fewer affordable homes in the UK than there were in 1980, when the population was seven million less than today


Profit subsidies

Cameron's environmental credentials - 'get rid of all the green crap' - are looking even more threadbare after Greenpeace pointed out that the government has provided 1.7 billion to 'big oil' to finance fossil fuel projects around the world.

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The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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Council tax (63)

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Article dated 7 January 2015

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