Socialist Worker

Fees stoking up rebellion

Issue No. 1857

THE GOVERNMENT is fighting to quash another revolt by backbench MPs. Labour MPs fear introducing top-up university fees could cost them seats at the next election.

Nearly 70 percent of 16 year olds say the fees, of up to £3,000, would put them off going to university. On Monday, Labour backbenchers staged a stayaway when the Commons discussed a Liberal motion opposing tuition fees. Ten Labour MPs voted with the Liberals. A bigger rebellion is expected when the proposals are debated in the autumn.

Getting tough on fat cats?

NEW LABOUR promises to get tough on executive pay sound hollow after a string of announcements revealed more huge payouts. Bosses of the Compass catering company that serves up meals for many schools and hospitals are the best paid in the country. Each grabbed £10 million in pay, bonuses and shares last year.

Rose Marie Bravo, chief executive of Burberry, is set to receive some £9.5 million, and a payment of £12.4 million if she leaves the company.

Dodgy dealing at job centres

FURY GREETED New Labour's plans to flog off some 1,100 job centres last week. The deal is set to net the government more than £1 billion. The government has decided to hand the centres to Britain's biggest property company, Land Securities.

The centres, many on prime sites, will be sold on, allowing Land Securities to rake in millions. The Department of Work and Pensions has also unveiled plans to privatise storage centres housing some 85 million files, including national insurance numbers and the names and addresses of most of the population.

The civil servants' PCS union has condemned the moves and vowed to fight the privatisations 'tooth and nail'.

In the dock on nuclear leaks

THE GOVERNMENT has allowed a dockyard in Plymouth to increase radioactive discharges into the sea by five times. The dockyard is owned by a subsidiary of Halliburton, which has strong links with US vice-president Dick Cheney.

The European Commission is bringing a legal action against Britain's Ministry of Defence for failing to check the potential health risks. Last month another prosecution was brought over the botched closure of a nuclear reactor at Greenwich Naval College.

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Sat 28 Jun 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1857
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