SSP EC statement on Catalonia

The Scottish Socialist Party offers its solidarity to those Catalans resisting the undemocratic and repressive response of the Spanish government to their democratic demand to determine their future relationship with the Spanish state.

We condemn the brutal police response to those protesting the continued victimisation of elected politicians for carrying out their mandate in organising the independence referendum last year. Such brutality, cloaked in the language of legality, is part of a long and dishonourable tradition of the Spanish state violently suppressing movements for change.

Having failed to defeat Catalan pro-independence parties at the ballot box in December, Rajoy’s government, whose party secured only 4% in those elections, have now moved to use their domestic courts and the judiciaries of other European countries to imprison prominent leaders of the independence movement.

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Thirty Pence is not Enough!

by Calum Martin

People who have spent a little time in Edinburgh will know the SSP Living Wage campaigns regularly on Princes Street. Sunday the 1st of April saw the Lothians branch pull off something a little different. On Easter Sunday, the Minimum Wage for those over 25 rose by about 30p, up to £7.83. If you are 25 or over you are legally guaranteed that in the workplace. If your employer is paying you less, they are breaking the law.

Rising Cost Of Living

Yet there are glaring omissions in this news. Not only are people under 25 missing from the increase, but there is still at least £2.17 per hour also missing.

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Redistributive Taxation – making the most of Devolution

by Calum Martin, SSP National Co-Chair

The Scottish Parliament was supposed to provide the ways and means to bring forward a new Scotland. Ours is a wealthy, productive nation, but it becomes more unequal daily. Workers create that wealth, yet it is skewed by a system rigged for the rich.

Inflation bites deep into workers wages, but every city in Scotland boasts more millionaires than ever before and corporate profits soar. Devolution can help us halt these problems – and with a bit of vision, put it in reverse. We have the wealth, the talents and ability to build ourselves a society and an economy which works well for all of us, not just a precious wealthy few.

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SSP Welcomes Football Act Repeal

The Scottish Socialist Party both welcomes and commends todays vote in Parliament to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football & Threatening Communications Act (2012). Commenting, party executive committee member and long standing Fans Against Criminalisation supporter Liam McLaughlan said:

“Today was the culmination of a 7-year, working class fan led movement which showed us all the power of sustained and committed community organising in affecting statute change.

“In the face of outright hostility in parts and ridicule in others, campaigners have continued to shine a light on this unworkable, illiberal legislation too the point where not even the SNP could muster an attempt to defend its effectiveness or use. Perhaps now we can have the sensible and reasoned debate on how to tackle the root causes of sectarianism and anti-Irish racism that still sadly scars Scotland,

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The Battle Hardens as UCU Members throw out latest ‘Deal’

by Richie Venton, SSP national trade union organiser

Main photo: Max McKay – Richie Venton, USDAW NEC member addresses 200-strong trade union solidarity rally at Strathclyde University.

“No capitulation!” “Reject the deal and sustain the strike!”
That was the angry message from the ranks of striking university staff to their own UCU union leadership after a “deal” was declared in the first real day of talks with university bosses, sponsored by ACAS, on the night of Monday 12th.

Strikers – comprising lecturers, research staff, librarians, IT and other student support staff – were a mixture of flabbergasted, bitterly disappointed and absolutely furious on hearing (on Monday night) that the UCU negotiators wished to accept an offer that still meant savage cuts to pensions,

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Profiteering pilfers paltry Minimum Wage

A Government report has exposed poor wage rates and employment practices at Wagamama, TGI Friday’s, Marriott Hotels, Birmingham City Football Club, Stoke City and St Helens Rugby club. In total 179 employers were fined £1.3m by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for ripping off their workers.

In Scotland, over 200 staff were underpaid by 15 firms, ripped off over £75,000 in wages.

SSP Spokesman Colin Fox said: “Spare a thought for the staff who serve you this weekend when you are out to dinner with your mates or attending the football match for some of the biggest names in the hospitality sector were found guilty this week of not paying their staff even the National Minimum Wage.”

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Free school meals: penny keeps dropping after 17 years

Roz Patersonby Roz Paterson

Seventy-five years ago, Finland decided to start feeding its children, irrespective of background, family situation or socio-economic status.

In other words, this beleaguered nation, at the time being hammered by Stalin, chose to invest in its upcoming generation, through providing free, nutritious meals for all, to support their learning, well-being and development.

Nothing fancy, you understand. Porridge, bread, milk. But every day, to everyone.

Here in Scotland, the penny has nearly dropped. North Lanarkshire Council, surveying the ruins of a failing neoliberal economy and its austere flip-side, has come to the conclusion that leaving children to go hungry for days on end, to the detriment of their health and education,

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