Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

Local government :: Council tax

spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All Campaigns subcategories:

Anti-capitalism

Anti-fascist

Anti-racism

Anti-war

Asylum

Black and Asian

Children

CNWP

Corporate crime

Disability

Education

Election campaigns

Environment

EU

Finance

Food

Gender Recognition Act

Health and safety

Health and welfare

Housing

Human Rights

LGBT Pride

* Local government

Local services

Low pay

Migration

Nationalisation

New workers party

NHS

Pensions

Post Office

Poverty

Privatisation

Public Services

Socialism

Socialist

Sport

Stop the slaughter of Tamils

Students

The state

Transport

TUSC

Welfare rights

Women

Workplace and TU campaigns

Youth


Council tax


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 929, 14 December 2016: NHS crisis: we're fighting back

Search site for keywords: Letters - The Socialist - Socialist - Tax - Labour - Cuts - Austerity - Capitalism - Public services - EU - Supermarket - Europe - Public transport - Council tax

The Socialist Inbox

Do you have something to say?

Send your news, views and criticism in not more than 150 words to Socialist Postbox, PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD, phone 020 8988 8771 or email [email protected]

We reserve the right to shorten and edit letters. Don't forget to give your name, address and phone number. Confidentiality will be respected if requested.

Views of letter writers do not necessarily match those of the Socialist Party.


Scrooge bosses

photo Mike Mozart/Creative Commons

photo Mike Mozart/Creative Commons   (Click to enlarge)

You could be forgiven for thinking that Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol was just a work of fiction. But the characters are in fact alive and well and living in 21st century Britain.

A friend of mine works at a major supermarket chain and applied for 27 Dec off work so that she could visit her family. When the request was refused she explained to her manager that public transport wouldn't be running, so she would have to miss seeing her family completely in order to work. Echoing Scrooge, her manager simply replied "Why do I care?" It's only once a year, sir!

Similarly another friend works for a hospice charity. Her father has been battling cancer this year and she booked time off to be with him at Christmas. However, her 'charity' employer reversed the decision and told her she must be prepared to come in at any time if she gets the call. Humbug!

Capitalism clearly cannot provide a future for the working class, in fact austerity is sending us back to conditions from 100 years ago. We know we can't rely on the benevolence of charity and the Scrooges of the world to have a change of heart - see how they treat their own staff! We have to fight for ourselves this Christmas.

Tessa Warrington, Leicester

It's a lottery

The Tories are gambling with all our futures, but the game is rigged, and the primary beneficiaries of this lottery are the billionaire class. Corporation tax plummets, while our cost of living increases by the day.

Since 2010 the government has cut the grant for local authorities (that is derived from the taxes we pay) by 50%. And every year the super-rich corporate scroungers use legal loop-holes to avoid paying 120 billion of tax.

Vital public services that benefit the most vulnerable in society are being cast by the wayside.

In response, Conservative authorities are now following the regressive American model in setting up local lottery schemes to fund vital local services. In the same way that the council tax is a regressive form of tax, so are lotteries.

As demonstrated in the landmark book Selling Hope: State Lotteries in America (1991), regressive tax is a form of taxation that ends up making the poorest in society pay a higher proportion of their income for the provision of public services.

Melton Borough Council is the third Tory-run local authority to back lottery schemes.

Apparently the lotto is meant to "cushion the impact of government cuts".

But the most effective way of reacting to such drastic funding cuts would be for Labour to refuse to put up with such institutionalised theft.

Certainly the leader of the Labour Party opposes austerity, as do the majority of his party's membership. But unfortunately most elected Labour representatives seem intent on blocking any fightback against cuts.

Mike Barker, Leicester

Liberal confusion

Since Brexit, the election of Trump and the rise of the so-called 'populist right' in Europe, many of those who would call themselves 'progressives' or 'left liberals' seem to have been thrown into confusion. They seem unable to find a coherent explanation of what is happening. Many blame the 'white working class' - very wrong in my view.

I think the reason for their bewilderment springs from their failure to comprehend the class nature of capitalist society. It's as if they've accepted Thatcher's claim that there's "no such thing as society, just people and families".

But once you recognise that capitalism divides society into two main classes, you begin to realise that politics is driven overwhelmingly by the struggle between these two classes.

Progressive liberals reluctant to accept this analysis believe instead that progress can be achieved through the force of ideas, reason and logic.

The futility of this approach was brought home to me when I read about Yanis Varoufakis. As finance minister during the Greek financial crisis - prior to the betrayal of the Greek workers by the Syriza leadership - he was negotiating with EU ministers.

The article spoke of the "surreal levels of incomprehension" faced by Varoufakis. He put forward arguments which were "logically coherent", only to be faced with "blank stares". What he didn't seem to realise was that the EU ministers were defending pro-austerity, pro-capitalist policies. Arguments about "fairness" were irrelevant to them.

Steve Appleton, Sutton

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

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.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 






Local government keywords:

Civil service cuts (1)

Council (2395)

Council tax (63)

Council tax (63)

Council workers (153)

Pay (2557)

Social Care Workers (9)

Taxes (47)

privacy (8)

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Article dated 14 December 2016

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

MEMBER RESOURCES

Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales

Leaflets

Bulk book orders

New member submission

WHAT'S ON

triangle22 Jun Caerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: China - the new imperialism

triangle23 Jun Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: Northern Ireland - what lies ahead?

triangle23 Jun Cardiff West Socialist Party: Housing is a right - Stop the evictions!

More...


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

Trade unions and workplace

NHS

International news

News

Campaigns and party news

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1138 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files


RMT picket at Nottingham station - East Midlands Railway dispute - Sunday 13th June, photo by G Freeman

RMT picket at Nottingham station - East Midlands Railway dispute - Sunday 13th June. Photo G Freeman

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version