WS108: That's Capitalism

Private, fee-paying schools for the wealthy received more than €100 million from the 26 county taxpayer last year. €99 million was spent on paying teachers’ salaries, and a further €2.1 million on building works in 17 fee-paying schools in 2008. Blackrock College in Dublin tops the list, receiving €3.9 million. Other schools receiving more than €3 million in annual support include Kilkenny College (€3.5 million), St Andrew’s College (€3.4 million), Belvedere College (€3.3 million) and Wesley College (€3.1 million). Most of the schools in receipt of this free taxpayers’ cash charge fees of about €5,000 per year.Thai authorities are accused of towing hundreds of migrants out to sea on barges without engines and abandoning them. Reports in the regional news media say that hundreds have died and Indian and Indonesian ships have rescued hundreds more, starving and dehydrated, after days adrift.

Every cent invested in the National Pensions Reserve Fund last year, all €1.69 billion of it, was lost on the stock markets yet the fund managers still took over €20 million in fees.

Of the $15 billion US taxpayers’ money given to Merrill Lynch/Bank of America, at least $3 billion has been used to give bonuses to top executives.

The government’s National Employment Rights Agency has revealed that of firms inspected in 2008 they found one in ten were paying less than the minimum wage. They also found that almost half were forcing staff to work longer hours than legally allowed. Lawbreaking was discovered in 85% of contract cleaning firms, 78% of hotels, 64% of shops and 62% of construction firms.

The United Nations Development Program estimates that everybody in the world could have access to basic social services, clean water, food, housing, health care and education, for $80 billion per year. The seven richest people in the world have $1.54 trillion between them.

This article is from Workers Solidarity 108 published in March 2009

The rest of WS108 can be read online or downloaded as a PDF file

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