That's Capitalism WS 104


The Health Services Executive in Cork is spending nearly four times as much giving work that used to be done by a HSE employee to private profiteers. A worker in the Environmental Health Unit (which deals with everything from transport to pest control) used to get a maximum of €700 a week until he retired this year. Now the same work is being given to a private firm, who charge €2,625 a week.

“There wasn’t anyone in the office, from the receptionist up, who paid as low a tax rate [as me].” The world’s third richest man, Warren Buffett, explained on NBC television how the US taxation system favours the rich over everyone else. He said he paid 17.7% compared to an average 32.9% among his office staff.

According to the Forbes annual list of billionaires, the richest 300 families own over 50% of the world’s monetary wealth.

According to the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation approximately 6 million children are dying from hunger every year, and every day 30,000 children die from easily preventable diseases like diarrhoea, measles and breathing problems.

In the ten years from 1996-2005, profits in the 26 county retail sector rose by 338% but wages only went up by 126%. Such are the benefits of ‘social partnership’.


From Workers Solidarity 104 July August 2008