Richie Venton: POVERTY KILLS – £10Now! a matter of life and death!

POVERTY KILLS – £10Now! a matter of life and death! That’s the clear conclusion to be drawn from yet another damning report on health inequalities in this rich nation. And since the prime roots of poverty and inequality are rampant low pay and cruel cuts to already miserly welfare benefits, this makes the struggle for a national minimum wage of £10 Now! – and an end to benefit cuts – matters of life and death. The authoritative Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) has issued a report proving that life expectancy is a lottery, dependent on what district and income …

Support the Vale Hospital Campaign

This week Scottish Socialist Party councillor Jim Bollan is asking West Dunbartonshire residents to get behind the petition and campaign to “Save our Services” in the Vale of Leven Hospital. Glasgow North West and Clydebank SSP fully support Jim’s call for a people’s campaign to turn back the tide of Tory cuts, many of which are being imposed via our own Scottish Government. Please endorse the sentiments of the Lennox Herald editor below by signing the petition here (and linked after the letter quote too). LETTER TO Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robison Dear Ms Robison, The Save Our Services at …

Will China pull down the world?

The world’s stock markets are spiralling down.  The US equity market has fallen 10% in the last month, a figure that is called a ‘correction’ in investor terminology.  That’s not yet a crash or ‘bear market’, usually measured as a 20% fall.  But it’s going that way. Stock markets are diving because it seems that the big investors, banks and financial institutions globally, are worried that China is imploding and planning to devalue its currency hugely, thus driving down the rest of emerging economies, many of which are already in recession (Brazil, Russia, South Africa etc) and so will pull …

Predictions for 2016

As I write, global stock markets kicked off 2016 by plunging, so much so in the case of China that stock market exchange was closed to stop selling.  The fall was prompted by all-round disappointing surveys of business activity in China, India, the US and parts of Europe. Indeed, by the end of 2015, most stock markets had their worst yearly results since the Great Recession in 2009  Clearly, rich investors and financial institutions are getting worried that the global economy, far from picking up pace, is slowing even further. It has now been eight years of what I have …

West Dunbartonshire secondary schools in one-day strike

All five main secondary schools in West Dunbartonshire have been closed because of a one-day strike by some teachers. Members of the EIS union are protesting about planned changes to the schools’ management structures.The council said it was “saddened” the action was going ahead.The EIS said the council’s plans were financially driven and would see a cut in the number of deputy head teachers, principal teachers of subjects and pastoral care posts. Following the strike, EIS members will start working to contract from Wednesday.The council’s plans involve related subjects being managed together in so-called “faculties” with one head. For instance, …

Sell everything ahead of stock market crash, say RBS economists

Royal Bank of Scotland warns of ‘cataclysmic’ year with slumps in shares and oil and advises clients to shift to bonds Stock markets have already come under severe pressure in 2016, with the FTSE 100 down more than 5% in its worst start since 2000. Investors face a “cataclysmic year” where stock markets could fall by up to 20% and oil could slump to $16 a barrel, economists at the Royal Bank of Scotland have warned.In a note to its clients the bank said: “Sell everything except high quality bonds. This is about return of capital, not return on capital. …

SSP candidates standing for RISE: Scotland’s Left Alliance – Scottish Socialist Party

The Scottish Socialist Party proudly welcomes the announcement by RISE – Scotland’s Left Alliance of its regional list candidates for the Scottish Parliament elections this May, which include a number of leading SSP members. The SSP, a key affiliate in the RISE electoral alliance for the crucial 2016 election, has seen its members top the lists in a number of regions, where they will stand alongside other excellent RISE candidates. SSP co-spokesperson and former MSP Colin Fox topped the list in Lothian, followed by prominent SSP members Natalie Reid, Calum Martin, and Sophia Lycouris. Fox responded, inviting Scotland to “listen …

Voluntary redundancies mark capitulation to austerity, not resistance

Dundee SSP co-chair Allan Grogan writes on Dundee City Council’s announcement of voluntary redundancies. Dundee City Council has sent letters to more than 6,000 of its non-teaching staff, asking them to consider voluntary redundancy in a bid to achieve £23 million of “savings” this year. The SNP’s local finance spokesperson Willie Sawyer has admitted that public services will be cut, due in part to the 3.5 per cent cut in local authority funding (LAF) which the Scottish Government announced late last year. This comes on top of the austerity measures put into place in recent years by a Conservative Government intent on squeezing the life out …

ANOTHER ‘NOTHING TO SEE HERE’ SPENDING REVIEW’

SNP Finance Secretary John Swinney today unveiled the Scottish Governments spending plans for the coming year. It was a budget statement Scottish Socialist Party national co-spokesperson Colin Fox described as “more insipid managerialism, lacking ambition and any serious intention of addressing Scotland’s systemic inequalities, chronic affordable housing shortage and lack of decent jobs”. The former Lothian MSP added: “Whilst it goes without saying the powers available to Holyrood are insufficient to fully address the needs of working people the fact remains John Swinney has again shown he has no intention of using even the existing powers to these ends’. “The …