Social care must be a right for all

by Natalie Reid

It’s no secret that social care funding is in crisis, in Scotland and across the UK as a whole.

Inevitably, this has led to inequality in social care provision, meaning only those who can afford it can be guaranteed the high standards of care we all deserve; whether it’s later in life or throughout our lifetime.

And this gaping inequality is only going to get worse.

According to Professor June Andrews, former director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at Stirling University, unless the current system of funding changes we will see “fabulous care for the rich, decent care that strips your family wealth for the affluent middle, and something unpleasant for those at the mercy of the future state”.

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Standing for top-quality housing

by Bill Bonnar

The Scottish Socialist Party believes that the only way to tackle Scotland’s housing crisis and to meet the long term housing needs of the people of Scotland is through a massive expansion of social housing.

Decades of government cuts in housing support to local authorities, combined with the fiscally ruinous right-to-buy policy, and a host of other capitalist measures have driven people into mortgage-based home ownership and the private rented sector. This has condemned hundreds of thousands of families to life sentences served out in dilapidated housing schemes.

Only by reversing these trends can we resolve the problems. The private sector has never been a solution; it is a large part of the problem. If we were to sum up the SSP’s approach to housing policy, it would be:

Housing is a social need and should not be a source of profit.

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A functioning democracy needs a Real Free Press

by Ken Ferguson

The media is in crisis, both globally and locally.

Around the world we have seen the collapse of numbers working as professional journalists. Politics, business and institutions are as a result at historically low levels of public oversight; corruption and plutocracy go unreported.

In Scotland, this is compounded by a clear disconnect between positions taken by media organisations and the views of a substantial portion of the population who feel that they are not represented, and that information the public is given is systematically biased on key issues in Scottish politics.

The roots of the worldwide crisis in journalism lie in two factors.

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Advancing Social Security Workshop

Last Saturday, Dundee SSP held a day school workshop – with Colin Turbett, an SSP social security expert with decades of experience in social work.

colin_turbett_augustineOn welcome to the branch, Mr Turbett said: “The limitations of the Scottish Government’s devolved social security reforms were shown earlier this month when the Tories benefit cap came into operation. This discriminates against large families claiming benefit by limiting the total they can claim (including housing benefit for rent) to £20,000 per year.

“In my own area, North Ayrshire, which has the second highest levels of child poverty in Scotland, this will hit 200 families and make life even harder for all the children involved. Consultation submissions on the devolved budgets and how they might be used, are currently being considered by the Scottish Government before firm proposals are drawn up; these however will only affect 15% of benefits spending (out of work benefits, tax credits and pensions remain with Westminster) and all these children in poverty will not be touched because they are not included.

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Close The Obscene Gap: for a £10 minimum and a maximum wage

richieby Richie Venton, SSP national trade union organizer

The gaping chasm between the incomes of millions of workers and handfuls of millionaire company chief executives is opening up ever wider, like the blades of a giant pair of scissors.

The case I expounded in my book, Break the Chains, for an immediate national minimum wage of £10-an-hour for all workers – regardless of age – and a maximum wage initially based on an overly generous 10:1 differential with the minimum (i.e. £100-an-hour maximum) screams out from every page of every recent report on workers’ wages and bosses’ incomes.

The top dogs of the FTSE 100 biggest companies have just had yet another 10% pay rise – and that’s before they rake in untold bonuses, shares portfolios, and bottomless pension pots. Since the 2010 recession, these capitalist overlords have had their salaries increase by a third! They now wallow like pigs in the proverbial, on average incomes of £5.5million!

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The case for free public transport

The Scottish Socialist Party is a proud advocate of a world-class, fare-free public transport system for Scotland.

Transport has undergone enormous changes in recent decades, both in Scotland and across the world. Some have been cyclical: in Scotland’s capital, trams were built, dismantled, and then reintroduced. In other areas, we have seen consistent trends like the steady deregulation and privatisation of services, which has left Edinburgh as the sole city in Scotland with a municipal bus operator.

Rail fares across the UK have soared in comparison to those of our European neighbours, and Scottish transport contracts go out to tender in a farcical franchise system whereby public sector companies in other countries can bid for control while those in Scotland are effectively barred.

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SSP Podcast: Apocryphal Tales – 2

In today’s Socialist Voices, we have SSP co-spokespeople, Sandra Webster and Colin Fox, Sandra on Paisley’s Sma Shot and Colin on the SNP’s strange relationship with the monarchy. We have Don Mackeen on racism in the USA, the Confederate flag and of course the awful terrorist events in Charleston last week.  We have Dr Bruce Scott speaking about Mental distress from a socialist perspective; We have blogger and transgender woman, Amber Daniels on her experiences, Matthew Geraghty on our democratic deficit, Australian Socialist Alliance member Dave Riley on “the Lucky Country,” SNP activist, Debra Torrance with a very emotional plea about the terrible events in the Mediterranean, Calum Martin on the SSP alternative to the Council Tax – the much fairer Scottish Service Tax and Aiden O’Rourke with a suggestion for the SSP…

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Ebook: For A Modern Democratic Republic

SSP PDF download

The Scottish Socialist Party is pleased to bring you our pamphlet “For A Modern Democratic Republic” as a free download.

We welcome all to download, share and discuss the arguments against continuing rule by an unelected monarch, and for establishing our own modern democratic republic.

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