The End of the British Welfare State

Debt and financial insecurity mount for millions of UK citizens

By Dennis Moore, 20 August 2013

New surveys reveal that millions of British citizens face growing indebtedness, with 21 percent experiencing a large drop in income in the last three years.

UK: Splitting of Doncaster children services a model for further privatisations

By Liz Smith, 30 July 2013

Children’s social care services in Doncaster, England are to be transferred to a “Community Interest Company”, laying the basis for full privatisation.

UK government set on deeper cuts to welfare

By Julie Hyland, 20 July 2013

The Conservative/Liberal coalition in Britain has laid out further attacks on welfare provision, while the opposition Labour Party calls for even deeper cuts.

People living in caves as UK homelessness reaches five-year high

By Dennis Moore, 11 July 2013

Official statistics published by the government show a five-year high in homelessness across the UK.

UK sees an increase in the number of “pauper’s funerals”

By Dennis Moore, 25 June 2013

Due to the spiraling funeral costs, rising poverty, and cutbacks in funeral payment entitlement for the poorest, the phenomenon of the “pauper’s funeral” is increasing in the UK

UK Labour Party pledges cuts in welfare

By Robert Stevens, 13 June 2013

The Labour Party has moved to continue the imposition of savage austerity measures, in the event of the downfall of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government.

London police confiscate sleeping bags and food parcels from homeless people

By Jerome Stern, 12 June 2013

Last month, Metropolitan Police officers raided three east London sites where homeless people were sleeping.

Six million suffer fuel poverty in UK

By Emily Wilson, 22 May 2013

The number of people in fuel poverty in England is expected to rise from 6 million today to 9 million by 2016.

Britain’s Queen’s speech: Anti-immigrant rhetoric in support of austerity

By Julie Hyland, 11 May 2013

By scapegoating immigrants as undeserving “scroungers”, the government intends to deny people, including European Union citizens, the right to access public services, including welfare, health care and housing.

UK’s Sunday Times Rich List records massive increase in wealth

By Simon Whelan, 26 April 2013

The numbers of billionaires in the United Kingdom stands at a record 88—up from 77 last year.

UK Council Tax changes spell deepening poverty for millions

By Dennis Moore, 10 April 2013

From this month, millions of the poorest people in the UK are being forced to pay Council Tax for the first time, plunging many into deeper poverty.

UK politicians, media exploit children’s deaths to demand further attack on welfare

By Julie Hyland, 8 April 2013

Politicians in the UK have responded to the tragic deaths of six children in a house fire to demand even further cuts in welfare spending.

Largest ever welfare cuts come into force in Britain

By Paul Mitchell, 4 April 2013

This month, historic cuts in welfare provision come into force, driving millions further into destitution.

UK health regulator reports on poor care of the elderly

By Ajanta Silva, 30 March 2013

The UK’s Care Quality Commission has produced a report documenting the severe deterioration in the quality of care for elderly people.

Local UK official who said disabled children should be “put down” resigns

By Mark Blackwood, 11 March 2013

The comment by an Independent member of Cornwall Council says a good deal about the character of the discussions taking place within the political elite over spending cuts.

National Health Services in London under sustained attack

By Paul Stuart, 4 March 2013

The Labour Party, trade unions and pseudo-left groups in Britain are playing the main role in facilitating the decimation of the National Health Service.

UK: Rotherham Hospital workers face further attacks on jobs and conditions

By Dave Hyland, 26 February 2013

Attacks on workers being prepared by the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust in South Yorkshire, England also threaten medical care in this working class area.

Social cleansing of London

Camden Council plans to move out 761 families

By Paul Bond, 25 February 2013

Local councils—with Labour-run administrations in the lead—are implementing a policy of social cleansing by trying to relocate families up to 200 miles away.

Death of pensioner highlights crisis of UK care for elderly

By Peter Reydt, 20 February 2013

An 81-year-old woman died after being left alone in her house without any medicine, food or drink.

UK conservative think tank uses child poverty to further its agenda

By Joe Mount, 15 February 2013

The objective is to argue that child poverty should be redefined to blame “benefit entitlement” for “encouraging worklessness.”

Stafford Hospital report points to decimation of Britain’s National Health Service

By Julie Hyland, 13 February 2013

Up to 1,200 patients are estimated to have died as a result of the poor care they received at Stafford Hospital.

UK government implements cuts in South East London Healthcare Trust

By Rick Wilson, 12 February 2013

The coalition government is to press ahead with serious cuts to heath services in south east London.

Britain: Closure plans for Trafford General Hospital’s Accident & Emergency unit approved

By Tony Robson, 5 February 2013

The closure of the Accident & Emergency unit at Trafford General Hospital in Greater Manchester, the hospital where the National Health Service was founded, has been approved.

UK: Unite union appeals to Labour to save the National Health Service

By Richard Duckworth, 1 February 2013

At a public meeting in Bristol, England, the Unite trade union appealed to Labour, the party that initiated the privatisation of the National Health Service, to save it.

Staff strike at Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trust in England

By Barry Mason and Julie Hyland, 30 January 2013

Administration workers and clerical staff at three hospitals began a five-day strike on Monday.

The fight to defend Britain’s National Health Service

By Chris Marsden, 28 January 2013

The NHS is hated by the ruling class as a symbol of everything they were forced to grant the working class in Britain in the post-war period.

UK Probation Service to be privatised

By Paul Veevers, 26 January 2013

The budget of £4 billion for prisons and Probation Services represents rich pickings for the corporate sector.

UK: Parents and staff demonstrate against closure of Sheffield children’s centres

By Liz Smith, 21 January 2013

Up to 19 of the city’s 36 Sure Start centres are to close, with the loss of up to 150 fully trained staff.

Fightback needed to defend the UK’s National Health Service

21 January 2013

The Socialist Equality Party (UK) has taken the initiative in launching a national campaign to defend the National Health Service.

Benefit cuts to impoverish millions in Britain

By Robert Stevens, 14 January 2013

Many benefit payments, including Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Maternity Allowance, and Sick Pay, will be cut.

UK: Peterborough National Health Service Trust deepens attacks on workers and services

By Steve Woodbridge and Danny Westwood, 14 January 2013

National Health Service provision in Peterborough, England is being further eroded, with more jobs and services under threat.

Government prepares to dissolve South London National Health Service Trust

By Paul Stuart, 11 January 2013

South London hospitals are facing devastating budget cuts, ward and service closures.

UK: Hospitals across Greater Manchester under threat of closure

By Tony Robson, 4 January 2013

The downsizing of local hospitals is in line with plans to dismantle much of the NHS.

Homelessness and sleeping in the street on the rise in the UK

By Dennis Moore, 4 January 2013

Across the UK, significant numbers of local authorities saw rough sleeping increase by 100 percent.

Lobbyists collude with UK government on National Health Service privatisation

By Tony Robson, 13 December 2012

A leaked document exposes how intense lobbying shaped government health policy during a fraudulent public “listening exercise” on the Health and Social Care Bill.

UK health unions mount feeble protest against attacks on National Health Service

By Mark Blackwood, 4 December 2012

Saturday’s “We are One NHS” demonstration, jointly organised by the National Health Service unions, including Unite, Unison, the Royal College of Nursing and the GMB, was a dispirited affair with an extremely low turnout.

Socialist Equality Party/SouthWest NHS Fightback

A reply to Unite Head of Health Rachael Maskell

By our correspondent, 4 December 2012

The SEP/SouthWest NHS Fightback replies to a Unite union official.

Social catastrophe faces UK working poor

By Julie Hyland, 3 December 2012

A new study examines the disastrous impact of current government policy, especially regarding welfare reform.

UK: South West Pay Cartel proposes 10 percent pay cut for health workers

By Ajanta Silva, 22 October 2012

The South West Pay Terms and Conditions Consortium, or pay cartel, is stepping up its plans to cut the pay, terms and conditions of health workers in southern England.

London housing bubble expands as plutocrats buy up top properties

By Jean Shaoul, 15 October 2012

The relentless rise in global plutocrats’ wealth and their turn to investing in homes and commercial property are having a devastating impact on the rest of society.

UK: Closure of Trafford General A&E part of larger plan to close hospitals

By Tony Robson, 13 October 2012

An internal NHS report spells out the replacement of Accident and Emergency (A&E) services such as provided by Trafford General Hospital with downsized facilities nationally.

UK Conservative Party calls for further cuts to welfare

By Paul Bond, 12 October 2012

Senior UK government figures signalled further massive cuts to welfare budgets at the Conservative Party conference this week.

UK: Conservative Lord’s company wins £300 million National Health Service contract

By Mark Blackwood, 18 September 2012

A private company chaired by a Conservative peer seems likely to be awarded a £300 million contract to run and maintain more than 550 National Health Service buildings.

BBC’s Panorama shows how disabled are targeted by government

By Dennis Moore, 28 August 2012

Panorama’s “Disabled or Faking It?”, screened by the BBC, gives a graphic account of the problems millions of people in the UK face when trying to claim Employment and Support Allowance.

Workfare schemes given legal sanction in UK

By Julie Hyland, 11 August 2012

The UK’s High Court has ruled that the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government’s welfare-to-work programmes are lawful.

UK: Peterborough care home workers resist closures

By Steve Woodbridge, 3 August 2012

Staff and local residents have protested calls by Conservative-led Peterborough City Council for the closure of the English city’s last two council-run care homes for the elderly.

South West England hospitals seek to slash wages

By Ajanta Silva, 31 July 2012

Nineteen National Health Service Trusts in South West England, covering 60,000 hospital workers have formed a Pay, Terms and Conditions Consortium.

Britain: Closure of hospital heart units will cost more children’s lives

By Simon Whelan and Ajanta Silva, 27 July 2012

A decision to close three paediatric heart hospital units, made in early July following a National Health Services “Safe and Sustainable” review, will cost more children’s lives.

Labour-run Newham council pioneers social cleansing in London

By Paul Bond, 3 May 2012

The government-imposed cap on Housing Benefit payment last year will lead to a policy of social cleansing of the poor, particularly in London.

British local elections: National Health Service under threat

Socialist Equality Party (UK), 26 April 2012

None of the major British parties are telling the truth in their campaign for the May 5 local elections: That the passage into law of the Health and Social Care Act presages the ending of free and universal state-funded health care in the UK.

Disabled suffer as a result of drive for UK benefits cuts

By Eileen Rose, 14 February 2012

Six charities have told the Guardian that the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government’s focus on “benefit over-claiming” and alleged fraud has fuelled abuse and scepticism against disabled people.

Food bank use rises dramatically in Britain

By Dennis Moore, 9 February 2012

Tens of thousands of Britons are struggling to make ends meet, forcing ever greater numbers to resort to the use of food banks.

Britain’s National Health Service faces wholesale privatisation

By Robert Stevens, 31 January 2012

Free and comprehensive health care is set to end with the passage of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government’s Health and Social Care Bill 2011.

Members of 20 UK unions vote to join strike over pensions

By Tony Hyland, 26 November 2011

Some two million workers are expected to take part in the November 30 Day of Action against attacks on public sector pensions.

A reader responds on the suicide deaths of UK couple

19 November 2011

A reader’s letter on the article “UK couple driven to suicide by poverty and neglect”.

Private finance contracts threaten UK health care

By Eileen Hyland, 4 October 2011

Britain’s Conservative Party health secretary Andrew Lansley recently stated that more than 60 Private Finance Initiative (PFI) hospitals were on the brink of financial collapse.

Pervasive unemployment and poverty in London areas hit by riots

By Paul Stuart, 16 August 2011

The British political establishment is imposing vicious class justice against young people accused of involvement in last week’s riots that swept London and other cities, areas devastated by joblessness and cuts to social services.

UK elderly care report pushes private insurance

By Julie Hyland, 11 July 2011

The report published Tuesday by Andrew Dilnot detailing the findings of the Commission on Funding of Care and Support reveals an official consensus on the dismantling of essential publicly-funded social provision.

UK: Official guidelines to deal with suicide by the jobless

By Robert Stevens, 18 May 2011

The Department for Work and Pensions has issued official guidance on how to deal with a claimant who threatens suicide.

Britain: National Health Service cuts target jobs and patient care

By Daniel O’Flynn, 3 May 2011

Since the beginning of the year, not a day has gone by without a new announcement on far-reaching cuts to the National Health Service.

Plans to privatise Britain’s National Health Service stall

By Julie Hyland, 8 April 2011

Britain’s government has placed on hold its Health and Social Care Bill, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley told parliament on Tuesday.

UK National Health Service faces wholesale privatization

By Stephen Alexander, 25 January 2011

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat government’s Health and Social Care Bill, introduced to Parliament last Wednesday, aims to dismantle the National Health Service (NHS) and hand over its profitable components to private corporations.

Critics of UK cuts warn that National Health Service “could collapse”

By Barry Mason, 28 December 2010

Senior figures in the UK’s National Health Service have warned that the government proposals to reform health care could lead it to “implode” or face a “train crash”.

Housing benefits cuts will “socially cleanse” London

By Paul Mitchell, 3 November 2010

The cuts in Housing Benefit proposed by the British Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition will lead to the eviction of huge numbers of people from their homes in London and elsewhere in the south-east of England.

Britain’s Rowntree Foundation: The poor are getting poorer

By Barry Mason, 17 July 2010

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found that the poorest people in the UK cannot achieve what most people regard as a minimum standard of living and that the latest budget will make the situation for them worse.

British homeowners fall prey to “sale and rent back” scams

By Marcus Morgan, 14 August 2009

Over the last few years, a new breed of “sale and rent back” (SRB) speculators has emerged in Britain, seeking to take advantage of the most vulnerable homeowners to turn a profit.

Britain: Government plans further fund cuts in elderly care

By Ajanta Silva, 10 August 2009

Labour’s Health secretary Andy Burnham has outlined the government’s proposals for elderly care in the green paper, “Shaping the Future of Care Together”.

Britain: Forty percent of children live in poverty

By Peter Reydt, 3 October 2008

More than 40 percent of children in the United Kingdom are living in poverty, according to the latest research. That is some 5.5 million children.

Britain: Labour to introduce work for benefits programme

Private sector to bid for contracts

By Robert Stevens, 9 September 2008

The Labour government in Britain has escalated its attack on the unemployed, the disabled and other vulnerable people with an announcement in a green paper to introduce a work for benefits scheme.

Britain: Labour's budget sets stage for further attacks on welfare

By Jean Shaoul, 20 March 1999

Gordon Brown's third budget as Chancellor of the Exchequer was greeted enthusiastically by most political commentators. It was almost universally acknowledged that he had squared the circle--combining redistribution of income with a business-friendly budget.