The End of the British Welfare State
Fire Brigades Union study exposes decades of deregulation and cost cutting that led to Grenfell Tower inferno—Part 1
By Alice Summers, 29 November 2019
The FBU’s study is all the more important in the context of a concerted smear campaign by the media and the official Grenfell Tower Inquiry, which have set out to cover up the principal causes of the fire and shift the blame towards the London Fire Brigade and firefighters.
By Dennis Moore, 15 October 2019
The average age of those rough sleepers who died in 2018 is 45 years for males and 43 for females, compared to the average age of death in England and Wales of 76 years for men and 81 for women.
By Thomas Scripps, 6 September 2019
Almost 18 percent of pensioners—nearly 2 million people—are in relative poverty, receiving less than 60 percent of median household income, up from 13 percent in 2011/2012.
By Margot Miller, 31 August 2019
Some councils build no new houses and are fast selling off existing stock. The Shelter charity says 3.1 million new social homes are needed over the next 20 years, including 1.27 million for homeless families.
By our reporters, 5 August 2019
Mustafa, believed to have been in his early 60s, was well known in the neighbourhood. As news of his death spread, it provoked an outpouring of anger.
By Ben Trent, 18 July 2019
Over the past 30 years, NHS bed capacity has been halved by Labour and Conservative governments.
By Paul Bond, 15 May 2019
There are almost daily reports of the savage human toll of the austerity agenda imposed by successive Labour and Conservative governments in the UK.
By Tom Pearce, 6 May 2019
The focus on the LFB’s alleged failings conceals the fact that all the main factors that ensured such a horrific loss of life were present long before June 14, 2017.
“He should never have been found fit to work in a million years!”
By Margot Miller, 1 May 2019
Smith, from Liverpool, died emaciated on April 15 aged 64, after suffering years of chronic ill health, yet still had been declared fit for work by the Department for Work and Pensions.
By Barry Mason, 30 April 2019
Photos of Stephen Smith published in the Liverpool Echo at the time he was refused Employment Support Allowance are heart-breaking and caused widespread outrage.
By Ben Trent, 23 April 2019
An investigation found that over 1 million patients were forced to seek alternative treatment in the preceding five years due to the closure of nearly 450 GP surgeries.
By Charles Hixson, 4 March 2019
Local authorities now pay private landlords to house homeless families.
By Margot Miller, 26 February 2019
The Resolution Foundation think tank reports that child poverty is predicted to “rise to record levels within the next five years, and will be 6 percentage points higher in 2023-24 than in 2016-17.
By Simon Whelan, 18 December 2018
The number of council homes in Britain has halved over recent decades and is now at its lowest level since the late 1960s.
By Jean Shaoul, 5 December 2018
Last year, Denise Coates raked in an obscene £265 million, up from £199 million the year before, based on salary and perks, nearly 10,000 times more than the average UK salary.
“It’s about safety but the train operating companies want to save money”
By our reporter, 13 November 2018
Rail workers in the UK have been fighting for over two years against the plans by the private rail franchises to introduce Driver Only Operated (DOO) trains.
By Paul Bond, 6 November 2018
Labour mayor of London Sadiq Khan pledged to build a paltry 10,000 council homes over the next four years while there are around 250,000 Londoners on housing waiting lists.
By Barry Mason, 2 November 2018
Building surveyor expert Arnold Tarling, who has examined Large Panel System blocks across London, believes they have fundamental structural flaws.
By Dennis Moore, 16 October 2018
Half of the cuts will come from the freezing of working age benefits that has occurred since 2016, and will deliver cuts of nearly £16 billion.
By Ben Trent, 16 October 2018
The budget deficits are the outcome of a systemic attack on a public health service provider with the intent of bringing the 70-year-old institution into private hands.
By Alice Summers, 18 September 2018
The continuing social cleansing of the city will see over 31,000 social housing residents forced to leave their homes.
By Dennis Moore, 11 September 2018
Across Britain, it is common to see tents and encampments set up in cleared wooded areas, underneath bridges, underpasses, or the less noisy areas of city centres.
By Dennis Moore, 11 September 2018
Under conditions of deeper austerity and growing financial insecurity, the collapse of Wonga will not bring an end to the payday lending crisis for millions of people.
By Ajanta Silva, 4 August 2018
Health workers are expressing outrage as the truth about the latest union sellout comes to light.
By Margot Miller, 31 July 2018
Thirteen months after the Grenfell Tower fire in London that killed 72 people, tens of thousands throughout the UK are still residing in tower blocks covered in flammable cladding.
By Simon Whelan, 5 July 2018
The measures create a two-tier and entirely arbitrary system, whereby families are to be made homeless simply because they live in a council home.
By Barry Mason, 4 July 2018
Stanislaw Skupian is a victim of vindictive class justice, punished for his poverty and for problems that spiralled out of his control.
By Joe Mount, 26 May 2018
Many youth struggle to access Job Centre services due to lack of proper documentation or other bureaucratic hurdles. Others lack a bank account, internet access or sufficient literacy. Others are carers for older relatives.
By Mark Blackwood, 17 May 2018
Recent figures reveal that half of all children living in the Lawrence Hill area are struggling just to eat.
By Dennis Moore, 24 March 2018
Adjusting for inflation, the last decade has been the weakest for average earnings in two centuries—the product of above-target inflation and poor nominal pay growth.
By Dennis Moore, 13 March 2018
In 2015, the UK government withheld £132 million from claimants in the form of sanctions.
By Liz Smith, 12 March 2018
That so many are in poverty is a result of the unions’ refusal to oppose successive governments’ austerity and pay freeze agendas.
By Richard Tyler, 10 March 2018
The high street retail and leisure sectors have been impacted by uncertainty over the consequences of Brexit and online shopping.
By Barry Mason, 27 February 2018
Living on the streets is a very precarious existence, reducing life expectancy to 47 years compared to 81 years for the average person in the UK.
By Thomas Scripps, 24 February 2018
At the center of discussions is the introduction of market-based pricing for degree courses, based on likely graduate earnings.
By Jean Shaoul, 12 February 2018
London’s Labour-controlled boroughs are a battleground because council estates and social housing exist side by side with some of the most expensive property in the country.
By Chris Marsden, 9 February 2018
Corbyn addressed the audience of Labour councillors imposing cuts that have devastated vital social services as if they were passionate seekers after a new socialist dawn.
By Julie Hyland, 9 February 2018
The Haringey Development Vehicle mass privatisation project epitomises the transformation of the Labour Party into a political adjunct of big business and the corporate elite.
As thousands demonstrate in London in defence of health care
By Robert Stevens, 5 February 2018
Corbyn and his pseudo-left backers are using the prospect of a Labour government reversing the attacks on the NHS to suppress any mobilisation of the working class.
“The Conservatives don’t care how many people die so long as they line their pockets”
By our reporters, 5 February 2018
World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to some of those attending Saturday’s demonstration in London to defend the NHS.
By Dennis Moore, 18 January 2018
The median average pay of the top FTSE 100 CEO's is £3.45 million a year, 120 times the average pay of a worker.
By Dennis Moore, 5 January 2018
The head of the Kings College hospital trust, one of the largest in the UK, resigned citing the inability of hospitals to provide adequate care amidst soaring demand.
By Ajanta Silva, 9 December 2017
In his budget, Tory Chancellor Hammond allocated a derisory £2.8 billon for the NHS over the next three years, under conditions in which the combined deficit of NHS trusts alone stood at £770 million last financial year.
By Margot Miller, 28 November 2017
A landmark study reveals the dirty secret of austerity policies being imposed all over the world: the more money is cut, the more people are sent to an early grave.
By Thomas Scripps, 13 November 2017
Full-time employment is now out of reach for many, with growing numbers forced into precarious part-time and self-employment.
By Alice Summers, 9 November 2017
Twenty-seven percent of London residents live in poverty, according to a study by poverty charity Trust for London.
By Robert Stevens, 3 October 2017
The pseudo-left groups are desperate to conceal the fact that the many local Labour authorities have imposed austerity on behalf of the government for years.
By our reporters, 3 October 2017
World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to those attending Saturday’s anti-austerity protest in Manchester.
By Paul Mitchell, 3 October 2017
Over 20 people, half of whom were local residents, attended the first meeting of the Grenfell Fire Forum last Saturday at the Maxilla Social Club in North Kensington, London.
By John Vassilopoulos, 14 September 2017
Arnold Tarling, a chartered surveyor and fire safety expert, told the WSWS government cuts were responsible for the Grenfell Tower inferno.
By Robert Stevens, 14 September 2017
August saw a further precipitous decline in living standards for all workers, due to the rising cost of fuel, clothes and food imports, with wages as a share of national income the lowest since the Second World War.
By Laura Tiernan, 4 September 2017
Theresa May’s Tory government, like the Cameron government before it, has relied on local Labour councils to slash millions of pounds from public spending.
By Steve James, 29 August 2017
Every single one of the cladding systems now being exposed as deadly had previously been signed off by various regulatory bodies as safe.
By our reporters, 31 July 2017
A Socialist Equality Party campaign team spoke to local residents in London’s Ladbroke Grove on Saturday about the Grenfell Tower fire.
By Ajanta Silva, 31 July 2017
The exodus of nurses and midwives takes place amid a broader shortage of 40,000 nurses and 3,500 midwives in England alone.
By Julie Hyland, 24 July 2017
Formerly socially owned and essential assets have been transferred wholesale to major corporations and hedge funds, jeopardising the lives of working people.
By Robert Stevens and Laura Tiernan, 17 July 2017
Within hours of the fire, and with only a small number of the dead identified, major efforts were already underway to make racism the central issue in the tragedy.
By Julie Hyland, 10 July 2017
The Grenfell Tower fire has laid bare the impact of decades of free market policies, deregulation and cuts in public spending initiated by Thatcher and continued by every subsequent government.
By Jean Shaoul, 3 June 2017
Labour has made no commitment to reversing £20 billion in NHS cuts imposed by Conservative-led governments so far, or ending them.
By Margot Miller, 23 May 2017
Wages for British workers are lower than before the 2008 financial crash and are expected to be almost £1,000 a year lower in 2017 in real terms than previous forecasts.
By Alice Summers, 12 April 2017
Many companies make use of these super-exploitative contracts as a means of slashing labour costs and denying workers their basic rights.
By Dennis Moore, 22 March 2017
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that between 2008 and 2015, those classed as living below the Minimum Income Standard had risen by 4 million.
By Ajanta Silva, 22 March 2017
The discharging of staff in Bournemouth is a sign that further decimation of services are on the horizon in 44 areas throughout England.
By Tom Pearce, 21 March 2017
On budget day, Conservative Education Secretary Justine Greening was heckled by head teachers as she spoke at an Association of School and College Leaders meeting.
Statement by NHS FightBack
4 March 2017
The following statement by NHS FightBack is being distributed at today’s London demonstration in defence of the National Health Service.
By Jean Gibney, 3 March 2017
Many seriously ill patients in the UK are being denied drugs and treatments due to increased drives for cost efficiency.
By our reporters, 18 February 2017
The hospital, opened in 2000, has been the lifeline for thousands of people who suffer from mental health problems.
By Thomas Scripps, 4 February 2017
Most residents of Haringey’s Council housing estates slated for destruction under the HDV are entirely unaware of what is being planned.
By Robert Stevens, 16 January 2017
More than 20 hospitals have raised alerts that they can no longer provide basic services to the public, as the British Red Cross said the NHS faces a “humanitarian crisis.”
By Margot Miller, 16 January 2017
Labour’s role in enforcing savage cuts in Metropolitan borough councils demonstrates it remains a big business party, despite the election of “left” leader Jeremy Corbyn.
By Simon Whelan, 11 January 2017
While the rich are allowed to avoid the taxes necessary to fund vitally-needed services, the government continually devises ways to extract ever more from the working class.
By Tony Robson, 30 December 2016
The Labour-run council has reduced spending on services by £300 million since 2011 as the central government grant has been cut by 50 percent.
By Julie Hyland, 12 December 2016
The centrepiece of Louise Casey’s report is her call for the promotion of “British values” and for immigrants to swear an “integration oath.”
By Danny Richardson and Robert Stevens, 29 November 2016
The implications for pensioners of the recommendations of the Work and Pensions Select Committee are disastrous.
By Thomas Scripps, 28 November 2016
The total number of workers in self-employment, temporary work and zero-hours contracts has increased by nearly 2 million over the past decade.
By Alice Summers, 31 October 2016
Lee Nutley is just one of countless people who have been driven to food banks, substance abuse and, in the worst cases, ultimately to their deaths after sanctions to their benefit claims.
By Barry Mason, 27 October 2016
In London, nearly three quarters of residents classified their homes as failing to meet the Living Home Standard established by the housing charity Shelter.
By Thomas Scripps, 17 October 2016
Self-employed individuals work two hours a week longer than employees, with more than one in 10 working 60 hours a week or more.
By Margot Miller, 5 October 2016
Firefighters are opposing new shift patterns that will cut service during the night.
Notes on London's housing crisis
By Allison Smith, 29 August 2016
The high cost of living in London is driving a record number of people to turn to renting riverboats.
By Jean Shaoul, 13 August 2016
The BHS/Philip Green scandal shows how asset-stripping, sale-and-lease-back arrangements, dummy companies and tax havens are now the norm, not the exception.
By Margot Miller, 8 August 2016
The NHS has been instructed to make savings of £22 billion by 2021, on pain of fines and takeovers by regulators.
By Barry Mason, 8 August 2016
The scheme was set up not to assist people to get back into employment, but as a subvention to employers.
By Richard Tyler, 30 July 2016
Unlike their members, whose incomes fell by over 10 percent in real terms, trade union bosses saw their own pay packets rise collectively between 2007 and 2015 by 18 percent.
By Margot Miller, 25 July 2016
The cuts will reduce from 13 to 10 the number of units in the country dealing with congenital heart disease—a condition that mainly affects children.
By Allison Smith, 13 July 2016
The wealth of private landlords stands in stark contrast to that of their tenants.
By Danny Richardson, 2 June 2016
Many of the attacks on wages and conditions began within the food industry, which is heavily reliant on the use of agency workers as cheap labour.
By Robert Stevens, 27 May 2016
An amendment to the Queen’s Speech expressed regret that the government did not include a bill that would protect the NHS from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
By Simon Whelan, 26 May 2016
The fortunes accrued by 120 billionaires account for 60 percent of the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in Britain and Northern Ireland.
By Trevor Johnson, 18 May 2016
The growing discrepancy in life expectancy between the rich and poor is the result of decades of attacks on jobs, wages and living standards.
Notes on the London housing crisis
By Allison Smith, 18 May 2016
Last year, one in five families was forced to move home in the capital. Rent has soared 20 percent over the past five years, while average pay has increased only 2 percent.
By John Newham, 11 May 2016
Deplorable conditions are being used to justify the further privatisation of the prison service.
By Margot Miller, 4 May 2016
Successive Labour and Conservative governments have reduced spending on children and young people by 71 percent.
By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2016
Junior doctors have refused to back down in the face of government threats, but the danger is their isolation at the hands of the health unions and the Labour Party.
By Thomas Scripps, 25 April 2016
Many working families will lose up to £200 a month as a result of the Universal Credit welfare reform introduced by the Conservative government.
By Tania Kent, 11 April 2016
The Conservative Cameron government is demanding that all schools are converted into academies, which are state funded but privately run, by 2022.
Statement by NHS Fightback
29 March 2016
The imposition of a draconian contract on 55,000 junior doctors is a test case for restructuring employment conditions for the entire workforce of the National Health Service.
By Robert Stevens, 22 March 2016
Under conditions of escalating economic crisis, the rifts in the Tory party are an expression of political realignments underway within bourgeois politics internationally.
By Barry Mason, 22 March 2016
According to a new report by Oxfam, just seven percent of the increase in wealth over the past 15 years went to the poorest 50 percent, or 30 million people.
By Robert Stevens, 17 March 2016
Conservative Chancellor George Osborne’s budget, announced Wednesday, dramatically slashes the tax rate on corporate profits and capital gains.