The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) announced yesterday (4 March 2021) that it’s members would be preparing for potential strike action over the pay rise announced in the UK budget, which they describe as ‘pitiful’. The RCN announced it was preparing a £35 million strike fund in advance of potential industrial action in England. Healthcare pay is devolved, hence the inclusion of England only. Although, workers in Scotland and Wales are preparing similar actions related to equally dismal pay rises.
The Communist Party has launched a stinging criticism of today’s (3 March 2021) budget by Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget is for the profits of the few rather than the wellbeing of the many. He plans to dole out many more billions to big business but still refuses to admit who is going to end up paying for yet another eye-watering bail-out of British capitalism. He claims economic growth will generate some of the tax revenues needed, yet the Office for Budget Responsibility has now cut its economic growth forecasts for every year from now until the end of 2025 except the next one.
George Galloway, leader and founder of ‘Workers Party Of Britain’, has stated his intention to vote for Douglas Ross’ Scottish Conservatives in May’s Holyrood elections. Galloway, who is heading up the ‘electoral alliance’ named Alliance for Unity to maintain the union and “kick out the SNP”, took to Twitter to claim he would vote for the incumbent Tory MSP in his constituency and use his secondary vote on the South Scotland list to vote for himself.
It has been revealed that the Home Office is secretly planning another network of immigration detention units for women, despite their pledge to reform the system and decrease the amount of vulnerable people detained. This autumn, the first detention centre in this plan will open where a former youth prison stood in County Durham. In addition to this facility and others alike, the Home Office has informed asylum groups that they were considering smaller units for women around the UK. There’s no guarantee that children will be spared from detainment in these facilities.
Nick Wright argues the people of the Irish Republic and their government have had a rude lesson in the politics of inter-imperialist rivalry.
The Tories’ flagship ‘Kickstart’ scheme isn’t a subject that has received a great deal of coverage either in the monopoly media or in the labour movement since it was launched as part of the Summer Budget in 2020. This lack of coverage and awareness might be surprising given that it is being touted as the Tories silver bullet to spiralling youth unemployment resulting from the pandemic. In fact, it is really their only significant policy in terms of youth unemployment. But there is a good reason you probably haven’t heard much about it since the scheme was launched. Despite all the government spin, it has been a complete failure.
A High Court judge has ruled this week (19 February 2021) that Matt Hancock’s failure to publish details of contracts related to the COVID-19 pandemic response within 30 days was unlawful, breaching the “vital function” of transparency over how billions of taxpayers’ money was spent. The case was brought forward by the Good Law Project, an organisation that is in the process of many legal challenges against the government’s procurement of services during the pandemic, including PPE contracts.
Labour has warned that over a million jobs in the hospitality sector are at risk of being lost if furlough is not extended, with the scheme currently set to end in April. According to the Office for National Statistics, one in ten hospitality businesses believe that they may be making staff redundant over the next three months. Furthermore, the latest survey data has shown that a huge 39% of firms in the sector are at risk of insolvency.
Gavin Williamson, the MP for education, has uploaded a 42-page paper on free speech at universities titled, “Higher Education: free speech and academic freedom.”… As a result of this, a “Free Speech Champion in the Office for Students” will be established.
Recently, a picture has emerged of a soup kitchen in George Square, Glasgow, organised by Kindness Homeless Street Team, with a queue that was around two hundred people long. The surprising thing about this is that people were surprised. Homelessness is all around in Glasgow. It is not something that is hidden like it is in other parts of the country. A short walk from Glasgow Central Station to Buchanan Street would show you that, with people sleeping rough at the side of the road.