The End of the British Welfare State

London: 8,000 council homes set for demolition

By Alice Summers, 18 September 2018

The continuing social cleansing of the city will see over 31,000 social housing residents forced to leave their homes.

Huge rise in deaths of homeless people in the UK

By Dennis Moore, 11 September 2018

Across Britain, it is common to see tents and encampments set up in cleared wooded areas, underneath bridges, underpasses, or the less noisy areas of city centres.

Wonga payday loans collapse shows extent of UK poverty

By Dennis Moore, 11 September 2018

Under conditions of deeper austerity and growing financial insecurity, the collapse of Wonga will not bring an end to the payday lending crisis for millions of people.

NHS trade unions’ “best deal in eight years” revealed as a fraud

By Ajanta Silva, 4 August 2018

Health workers are expressing outrage as the truth about the latest union sellout comes to light.

Hundreds of residential tower blocks still covered in Grenfell-type flammable cladding

By Margot Miller, 31 July 2018

Thirteen months after the Grenfell Tower fire in London that killed 72 people, tens of thousands throughout the UK are still residing in tower blocks covered in flammable cladding.

British government imposes collective punishment by evicting families from public housing

By Simon Whelan, 5 July 2018

The measures create a two-tier and entirely arbitrary system, whereby families are to be made homeless simply because they live in a council home.

Homeless man jailed for picking up London Marathon number and crossing finishing line

By Barry Mason, 4 July 2018

Stanislaw Skupian is a victim of vindictive class justice, punished for his poverty and for problems that spiralled out of his control.

UK: Nearly half a million young people not in receipt of minimal state support

By Joe Mount, 26 May 2018

Many youth struggle to access Job Centre services due to lack of proper documentation or other bureaucratic hurdles. Others lack a bank account, internet access or sufficient literacy. Others are carers for older relatives.

The terrible effects on children of Labour’s austerity measures in Bristol

By Mark Blackwood, 17 May 2018

Recent figures reveal that half of all children living in the Lawrence Hill area are struggling just to eat.

UK: Eight million hit by welfare cuts

By Dennis Moore, 24 March 2018

Adjusting for inflation, the last decade has been the weakest for average earnings in two centuries—the product of above-target inflation and poor nominal pay growth.

UK: More than a million welfare benefit sanctions imposed against disabled people

By Dennis Moore, 13 March 2018

In 2015, the UK government withheld £132 million from claimants in the form of sanctions.

Increase in social deprivation hits tens of thousands of children in UK

By Liz Smith, 12 March 2018

That so many are in poverty is a result of the unions’ refusal to oppose successive governments’ austerity and pay freeze agendas.

Britain: 15,000 jobs in retail and leisure under threat, as jobs go throughout economy

By Richard Tyler, 10 March 2018

The high street retail and leisure sectors have been impacted by uncertainty over the consequences of Brexit and online shopping.

UK local authorities escalate anti-homelessness policies

By Barry Mason, 27 February 2018

Living on the streets is a very precarious existence, reducing life expectancy to 47 years compared to 81 years for the average person in the UK.

Tuition fees review will escalate marketisation of higher education in UK

By Thomas Scripps, 24 February 2018

At the center of discussions is the introduction of market-based pricing for degree courses, based on likely graduate earnings.

UK: Corbyn tries to conceal Labour’s record of social cleansing

By Jean Shaoul, 12 February 2018

London’s Labour-controlled boroughs are a battleground because council estates and social housing exist side by side with some of the most expensive property in the country.

Corbyn prostrates himself before council leaders in the name of “Municipal Socialism”

By Chris Marsden, 9 February 2018

Corbyn addressed the audience of Labour councillors imposing cuts that have devastated vital social services as if they were passionate seekers after a new socialist dawn.

London Labour councils in league with property developers

By Julie Hyland, 9 February 2018

The Haringey Development Vehicle mass privatisation project epitomises the transformation of the Labour Party into a political adjunct of big business and the corporate elite.

As thousands demonstrate in London in defence of health care

UK unions and Labour suppress struggle to defend National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 5 February 2018

Corbyn and his pseudo-left backers are using the prospect of a Labour government reversing the attacks on the NHS to suppress any mobilisation of the working class.

London protesters speak out in defence of the National Health Service

“The Conservatives don’t care how many people die so long as they line their pockets”

By our reporters, 5 February 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to some of those attending Saturday’s demonstration in London to defend the NHS.

Another bonanza year for highest paid UK CEOs

By Dennis Moore, 18 January 2018

The median average pay of the top FTSE 100 CEO's is £3.45 million a year, 120 times the average pay of a worker.

British National Health Service faces escalating crisis due to chronic underfunding

By Dennis Moore, 5 January 2018

The head of the Kings College hospital trust, one of the largest in the UK, resigned citing the inability of hospitals to provide adequate care amidst soaring demand.

UK government accelerates plans to ration and privatise National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 9 December 2017

In his budget, Tory Chancellor Hammond allocated a derisory £2.8 billon for the NHS over the next three years, under conditions in which the combined deficit of NHS trusts alone stood at £770 million last financial year.

UK health care cuts will lead to 100 additional deaths each day

By Margot Miller, 28 November 2017

A landmark study reveals the dirty secret of austerity policies being imposed all over the world: the more money is cut, the more people are sent to an early grave.

Five million people in UK earn less than £8.10 an hour

By Thomas Scripps, 13 November 2017

Full-time employment is now out of reach for many, with growing numbers forced into precarious part-time and self-employment.

More than a quarter of Londoners live in poverty

By Alice Summers, 9 November 2017

Twenty-seven percent of London residents live in poverty, according to a study by poverty charity Trust for London.

People’s Assembly stage tame protest outside Conservative Party conference

By Robert Stevens, 3 October 2017

The pseudo-left groups are desperate to conceal the fact that the many local Labour authorities have imposed austerity on behalf of the government for years.

Manchester demonstrators: “People are dying under these austerity measures.”

By our reporters, 3 October 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to those attending Saturday’s anti-austerity protest in Manchester.

Grenfell Fire Forum: Wide-ranging discussion and resolution passed opposing Google censorship

By Paul Mitchell, 3 October 2017

Over 20 people, half of whom were local residents, attended the first meeting of the Grenfell Fire Forum last Saturday at the Maxilla Social Club in North Kensington, London.

As official Grenfell Tower inquiry opens, UK fire safety provisions under attack

By John Vassilopoulos, 14 September 2017

Arnold Tarling, a chartered surveyor and fire safety expert, told the WSWS government cuts were responsible for the Grenfell Tower inferno.

UK: Pay cap for majority of public sector workers to continue, despite government defeat

By Robert Stevens, 14 September 2017

August saw a further precipitous decline in living standards for all workers, due to the rising cost of fuel, clothes and food imports, with wages as a share of national income the lowest since the Second World War.

Britain’s pseudo-left promote Labour councils enforcing savage cuts

By Laura Tiernan, 4 September 2017

Theresa May’s Tory government, like the Cameron government before it, has relied on local Labour councils to slash millions of pounds from public spending.

UK: 228 high-rise buildings fail mock-up fire tests post-Grenfell

By Steve James, 29 August 2017

Every single one of the cladding systems now being exposed as deadly had previously been signed off by various regulatory bodies as safe.

Residents in London district of Ladbroke Grove speak out on Grenfell fire

By our reporters, 31 July 2017

A Socialist Equality Party campaign team spoke to local residents in London’s Ladbroke Grove on Saturday about the Grenfell Tower fire.

UK: More nurses and midwives quit as onslaught against NHS intensifies

By Ajanta Silva, 31 July 2017

The exodus of nurses and midwives takes place amid a broader shortage of 40,000 nurses and 3,500 midwives in England alone.

Grenfell fire: social cleansing by London councils widespread

By Julie Hyland, 24 July 2017

Formerly socially owned and essential assets have been transferred wholesale to major corporations and hedge funds, jeopardising the lives of working people.

The Grenfell fire: Class politics versus identity politics

By Robert Stevens and Laura Tiernan, 17 July 2017

Within hours of the fire, and with only a small number of the dead identified, major efforts were already underway to make racism the central issue in the tragedy.

Resignations at UK Shelter housing charity, after Grenfell exposes role of “Third Sector”

By Julie Hyland, 10 July 2017

The Grenfell Tower fire has laid bare the impact of decades of free market policies, deregulation and cuts in public spending initiated by Thatcher and continued by every subsequent government.

UK: Attack on NHS would continue under Labour government

By Jean Shaoul, 3 June 2017

Labour has made no commitment to reversing £20 billion in NHS cuts imposed by Conservative-led governments so far, or ending them.

UK wage performance “worst in over 200 years”

By Margot Miller, 23 May 2017

Wages for British workers are lower than before the 2008 financial crash and are expected to be almost £1,000 a year lower in 2017 in real terms than previous forecasts.

Workers in UK “gig economy” charged hundreds of pounds for taking sick leave

By Alice Summers, 12 April 2017

Many companies make use of these super-exploitative contracts as a means of slashing labour costs and denying workers their basic rights.

Rising food and fuel prices driving millions more Britons into poverty

By Dennis Moore, 22 March 2017

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that between 2008 and 2015, those classed as living below the Minimum Income Standard had risen by 4 million.

UK: Bournemouth Intermediate Care Services axes staff

By Ajanta Silva, 22 March 2017

The discharging of staff in Bournemouth is a sign that further decimation of services are on the horizon in 44 areas throughout England.

UK budget steps up attacks on education

By Tom Pearce, 21 March 2017

On budget day, Conservative Education Secretary Justine Greening was heckled by head teachers as she spoke at an Association of School and College Leaders meeting.

UK: The fight to defend the NHS means building a new socialist party

Statement by NHS FightBack

4 March 2017

The following statement by NHS FightBack is being distributed at today’s London demonstration in defence of the National Health Service.

UK: Rising mortality rates and rationing across the National Health Service

By Jean Gibney, 3 March 2017

Many seriously ill patients in the UK are being denied drugs and treatments due to increased drives for cost efficiency.

Patient at Britain’s Newham Acute Day Hospital launches campaign to fight closure

By our reporters, 18 February 2017

The hospital, opened in 2000, has been the lifeline for thousands of people who suffer from mental health problems.

London’s Haringey Labour council launches £2 billion privatisation

By Thomas Scripps, 4 February 2017

Most residents of Haringey’s Council housing estates slated for destruction under the HDV are entirely unaware of what is being planned.

Millions face dire consequences of rundown of Britain’s National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 16 January 2017

More than 20 hospitals have raised alerts that they can no longer provide basic services to the public, as the British Red Cross said the NHS faces a “humanitarian crisis.”

UK: Labour-run councils impose Tory cuts under Corbyn’s instruction

By Margot Miller, 16 January 2017

Labour’s role in enforcing savage cuts in Metropolitan borough councils demonstrates it remains a big business party, despite the election of “left” leader Jeremy Corbyn.

British super-rich pay less tax as workers pay more

By Simon Whelan, 11 January 2017

While the rich are allowed to avoid the taxes necessary to fund vitally-needed services, the government continually devises ways to extract ever more from the working class.

UK: Sheffield’s 82-year-old Central Library under threat due to cuts

By Tony Robson, 30 December 2016

The Labour-run council has reduced spending on services by £300 million since 2011 as the central government grant has been cut by 50 percent.

UK: Government sponsored “integration” report an agenda for division

By Julie Hyland, 12 December 2016

The centrepiece of Louise Casey’s report is her call for the promotion of “British values” and for immigrants to swear an “integration oath.”

British government steps up attacks on state pensions

By Danny Richardson and Robert Stevens, 29 November 2016

The implications for pensioners of the recommendations of the Work and Pensions Select Committee are disastrous.

Huge growth in “precarious employment” in the UK

By Thomas Scripps, 28 November 2016

The total number of workers in self-employment, temporary work and zero-hours contracts has increased by nearly 2 million over the past decade.

UK: Man who appeared on reality TV show “Benefits Street” dies in poverty

By Alice Summers, 31 October 2016

Lee Nutley is just one of countless people who have been driven to food banks, substance abuse and, in the worst cases, ultimately to their deaths after sanctions to their benefit claims.

Report finds that more than 40 percent of British housing is substandard

By Barry Mason, 27 October 2016

In London, nearly three quarters of residents classified their homes as failing to meet the Living Home Standard established by the housing charity Shelter.

UK: Self-employed face poverty wages and financial insecurity

By Thomas Scripps, 17 October 2016

Self-employed individuals work two hours a week longer than employees, with more than one in 10 working 60 hours a week or more.

UK Labour Party attacks Greater Manchester firefighters

By Margot Miller, 5 October 2016

Firefighters are opposing new shift patterns that will cut service during the night.

Notes on London's housing crisis

London landlords renting out dangerous "floating shacks"

By Allison Smith, 29 August 2016

The high cost of living in London is driving a record number of people to turn to renting riverboats.

BHS scandal in the UK: The real face of capitalism

By Jean Shaoul, 13 August 2016

The BHS/Philip Green scandal shows how asset-stripping, sale-and-lease-back arrangements, dummy companies and tax havens are now the norm, not the exception.

UK National Health Service forced to the brink of financial collapse

By Margot Miller, 8 August 2016

The NHS has been instructed to make savings of £22 billion by 2021, on pain of fines and takeovers by regulators.

More than 500 UK employers and charities benefited from use of free forced labour

By Barry Mason, 8 August 2016

The scheme was set up not to assist people to get back into employment, but as a subvention to employers.

UK workers’ pay plummets since 2008 global financial crash

By Richard Tyler, 30 July 2016

Unlike their members, whose incomes fell by over 10 percent in real terms, trade union bosses saw their own pay packets rise collectively between 2007 and 2015 by 18 percent.

UK: National Health Service cardiac units to be cut

By Margot Miller, 25 July 2016

The cuts will reduce from 13 to 10 the number of units in the country dealing with congenital heart disease—a condition that mainly affects children.

Evictions of private tenants increase by over 50 percent in England and Wales

By Allison Smith, 13 July 2016

The wealth of private landlords stands in stark contrast to that of their tenants.

UK firms use new regulations to cut pay and conditions

By Danny Richardson, 2 June 2016

Many of the attacks on wages and conditions began within the food industry, which is heavily reliant on the use of agency workers as cheap labour.

UK government retreats on including NHS in free trade deal

By Robert Stevens, 27 May 2016

An amendment to the Queen’s Speech expressed regret that the government did not include a bill that would protect the NHS from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

UK rich just keep getting richer

By Simon Whelan, 26 May 2016

The fortunes accrued by 120 billionaires account for 60 percent of the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in Britain and Northern Ireland.

UK: Gap in life expectancy between rich and poor widens for first time since 1870

By Trevor Johnson, 18 May 2016

The growing discrepancy in life expectancy between the rich and poor is the result of decades of attacks on jobs, wages and living standards.

Notes on the London housing crisis

One third of London renters sinking into debt

By Allison Smith, 18 May 2016

Last year, one in five families was forced to move home in the capital. Rent has soared 20 percent over the past five years, while average pay has increased only 2 percent.

UK prisoners “potential assets to be harnessed” for profit

By John Newham, 11 May 2016

Deplorable conditions are being used to justify the further privatisation of the prison service.

Poverty grows, health declines among UK children

By Margot Miller, 4 May 2016

Successive Labour and Conservative governments have reduced spending on children and young people by 71 percent.

More than 50,000 junior doctors begin two-day strike in UK

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2016

Junior doctors have refused to back down in the face of government threats, but the danger is their isolation at the hands of the health unions and the Labour Party.

UK: Millions of low income families will be poorer under welfare reforms

By Thomas Scripps, 25 April 2016

Many working families will lose up to £200 a month as a result of the Universal Credit welfare reform introduced by the Conservative government.

UK White Paper paves way for the destruction of public education

By Tania Kent, 11 April 2016

The Conservative Cameron government is demanding that all schools are converted into academies, which are state funded but privately run, by 2022.

UK Junior doctors dispute at a crossroads

Statement by NHS Fightback

29 March 2016

The imposition of a draconian contract on 55,000 junior doctors is a test case for restructuring employment conditions for the entire workforce of the National Health Service.

Resignation of UK work and pensions secretary divides Conservative government

By Robert Stevens, 22 March 2016

Under conditions of escalating economic crisis, the rifts in the Tory party are an expression of political realignments underway within bourgeois politics internationally.

UK super-rich seize 26 percent of all new wealth since 2000

By Barry Mason, 22 March 2016

According to a new report by Oxfam, just seven percent of the increase in wealth over the past 15 years went to the poorest 50 percent, or 30 million people.

UK Budget: Austerity for workers pays for tax breaks for corporations and the rich

By Robert Stevens, 17 March 2016

Conservative Chancellor George Osborne’s budget, announced Wednesday, dramatically slashes the tax rate on corporate profits and capital gains.

Shadow Chancellor McDonnell pledges UK Labour Party to austerity

By Robert Stevens, 15 March 2016

McDonnell said ensuring Labour’s credibility on the economy to big business was “the struggle of a generation.”

Housing legislation to escalate “social cleansing” of UK cities

By Barry Mason, 15 February 2016

Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative government has announced plans to impose market-level rents on council tenants deemed to be high earning.

Government to impose contract on junior doctors after second England-wide strike

By Robert Stevens, 12 February 2016

The government’s unprecedented and authoritarian move signifies a new stage in the efforts of the ruling elite to dismantle the National Health Service.

British junior doctors speak from the picket lines

By our reporters, 12 February 2016

Striking junior doctors and their supporters say that the government’s attacks on them are part of a broader assault on the National Health Service.

UK Government announces demolition of council housing

By Simon Whelan, 19 January 2016

Cameron’s plans spell the death knell for inner-city public housing, especially in London.

UK: Junior doctors strike against new contracts

By Tony Robson, 12 January 2016

It has been more than four decades since the last national strike by junior doctors over pay and conditions

UK: Oppose introduction of student nurse tuition fees and scrapping of bursaries

By Ajanta Silva, 9 January 2016

A student nurse graduating in 2020 could leave with debts over £50,000.

UK public parks face perilous future

By Dennis Moore, 9 January 2016

Parks are not a statutory service and local authorities have no legal obligation to fund them.

OECD finds UK pensions amongst lowest in world

By Margot Miller, 9 December 2015

Pensions have come under sustained attack by the previous Labour, Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition and present Conservative governments.

British Medical Association calls off UK junior doctors strikes

By Robert Stevens, 2 December 2015

The BMA’s betrayal allows the government further time to come up with a repackaged deal, in order to carry out effectively the same attacks on doctors’ employment conditions and pay.

Victory to the junior doctors! Defend the NHS!

Statement by NHS Fightback

30 November 2015

The defence of health care and every other basic social right can only be taken forward through a break from the trade unions and the Labour Party.

UK government outlines unprecedented public spending cuts

By Julie Hyland, 26 November 2015

In just 10 years, from 2010 through 2020, government spending as a percentage of GDP is projected to fall by 10 percent, with disastrous consequences for millions of people.

UK: What is the “Northern Powerhouse”?

By Margot Miller, 26 November 2015

Under the control of the Labourites, each city and region within the Northern Powerhouse is involved in a cutthroat struggle for investment and the slashing of wages.

UK Chancellor “negotiates” decimation of public services ahead of spending review

By Simon Whelan, 23 November 2015

Chancellor George Osborne is demanding that governmental departments slash their expenditures by up to 40 percent.

More cuts to come as UK economy heads towards deeper crisis

By Robert Stevens, 23 November 2015

New data shows that the UK economy is fragile and teetering on the edge of a major crisis.

Junior doctors oppose latest government efforts to extend services

By Barry Mason, 9 November 2015

Staff fear the extension of services at a weekend, without additional resources, would put yet more patients’ care in jeopardy.

UK’s National Health Service to be “squeezed as never before”

By Ajanta Silva, 9 November 2015

The NHS’s financial crisis is the product of funding cuts and the drive to privatisation.

Notes on London’s housing crisis

By Thomas Scripps, 7 November 2015

London is the third most expensive city in the world. Working people and students face soaring costs for housing and increasing evictions.

UK: Addenbrooke’s Hospital placed in “special measures” over quality concerns

By Tom Pearce, 31 October 2015

Addenbrooke’s dire situation is symptomatic of a financial crisis across the NHS, with two-thirds of trusts predicting a deficit this year.

London: Evictions at Sweets Way estate

By Allison Smith, 19 October 2015

The final eviction at Sweets Way estate took place after a six-month standoff.