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Issue No. 1873

A flood of high water bills

WATER BILLS are set to soar by up to a third after the private utility companies gets the go-ahead to raise prices. The water companies have made billions since privatisation in 1990, but they refuse to pay for much needed repairs themselves. Instead we will have to pay through higher bills.

The Ofwat regulator was set to confirm this week that the firms can raise prices this week, in a move taking total price rises since privatisation to some 138 percent.

Degrees don't give a leg up

WORKING CLASS graduates are less likely to get jobs than those from 'elite' backgrounds. A study funded by the official Economic and Social Research Council looked at graduates applying for jobs. 'There is still an elite,' it concludes. One of the study's authors, Professor Phil Brown of Cardiff University, says that around 50 suitably qualified graduates apply for a job, leaving employers free to pick and choose as they see fit.

New Labour's plan for top-up tuition fees will deter more working class students from even going to university in the first place.

Stop Fees Demonstration, Sunday 26 October, Assemble 12.30pm, University of London Union, Malet Street, London. Called by National Union of Students

Bosses just can't get enough

BRITAIN'S BOSSES whinged this week that chancellor Gordon Brown wasn't doing enough to line their pockets. The aim, presumably, was to persuade Brown to be even more generous to them in his pre-Budget report due in early December.

They are an ungrateful lot-Brown has already shovelled money their way. British business paid £29.3 billion in corporation tax, the tax on profits, last year. That is down from £34.3 billion four years ago, leaving bosses £5 billion richer.

Galloway faces kangaroo court

GEORGE GALLOWAY faces an internal Labour Party disciplinary hearing next Wednesday. The kangaroo court is the latest stage in moves by Blair and his supporters to expel the MP who has been the most prominent voice of the anti-war movement in Britain. Everyone who opposed the war on Iraq should defend George Galloway. Join the picket outside the hearing, use the resolutions and petitions (available from at work, in your union, at college, with your friends. And join the picket outside the hearing next week.

Defend George Galloway. Picket Labour Party hearing, Wednesday 22 October, 9am, ISTC building, Swinton House, 324 Grays Inn Road, London WC1 (near King's Cross tube/station)

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Sat 18 Oct 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1873
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