Socialist Worker

New assault on refugees

Issue No. 1821

DAVID BLUNKETT, the home secretary, kept up his attacks on refugees as the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill went to the House of Lords for its third reading this week.

Blunkett plans to add new attacks on asylum to the bill. These could include ruling that ten new countries about to join the European Union are 'safe' and therefore refugees will not be accepted. Yet these countries' populations include tens of thousands of Roma who suffer persecution. Blunkett also wants to deport asylum seekers before they have even had a chance to appeal.

Rich-poor gulf grows

THE GAP between directors' pay and workers' wages has widened in five years of New Labour. The gross earnings of chief executives in Britain's top 100 companies, including salary, benefits, bonuses and long term incentive payments, rose by 89.3 percent between 1996 and 2001.

Shopfloor workers have seen their average annual earnings rise by less than 20 percent. Directors paid more than a million last year include: Lord Browne, head of BP, £5,521,380; Sir Peter Bonfield, head of BT, £3,746,773; Paddy Doyle, head of Capita, £3,580,554; Terry Leahy, boss of Tesco, £2,445,000; and Sir Clive Thompson, head of Rentokil Initial, £1,885,000.

Schools to go private

EVERY secondary school will be forced to bring in private firms for any rebuilding or refurbishing work, according to new government plans. Schools standards minister David Miliband will hand 3,780 schools' building and maintenance programmes over to private firms in a PFI deal.

New Labour is trying to bully schools into accepting PFI by saying they will not get the decent buildings they need otherwise.

Scrooge in countryside

THE NATIONAL Farmers Union has launched legal action to block the decision by the agricultural wages board to raise farm workers' pay by 3 percent. These rich farmers are the people who marched recently for 'liberty and livelihood'.

The NFU resigned from the board in August on the grounds that £4.91 an hour was too much for rural workers.

Socialist Alliance conference on Europe

This Saturday, 12 October, South Camden Community School, Charrington Street, London (Euston tube) Registration 10am, conference starts 11am. £10 waged/£6 unwaged

For details phone the Socialist Alliance on 020 7791 3138

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Article information

Sat 12 Oct 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1821
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