Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/10021
"Set a needs budget" - appeal against cuts
We reproduce below Nancy Taaffe's speech for the budget-setting Waltham Forest council meeting on Thursday 22 July.
Nancy Taaffe is a member of the Walthamstow Socialist Party.
Members of Unison, UCU, the Socialist Party and the newly formed Waltham Forest Anti-Cuts Union lobbied the councillors as they enter the meeting from 6.30pm.
Next week the Anti-Cuts Union will have its launch meeting.
Please call Sarah on 079 580 320 71 for more information.
WALTHAM FOREST ANTI-CUTS UNION
Thursday 29 July 7.30pm
William Morris Community Centre, Greenleaf Road , off Hoe Street , Walthamstow, London E17 6QQ
I would like to make an appeal to any local councillors tonight who agree that budget cuts are unnecessary.
Vote 'No' and set a needs budget.
The banks and the city hedge funds have recouped their 2008 losses.
It is those people, who caused the crisis, who have refused to pay their debts.
Why should the public sector pay when we never caused the mess?
We must fight the vicious axe men in the millionaires' government who seek to destroy our NHS, our education, our services, our jobs and our young people's future.
There are alternatives to cuts
The Unison budget shows that there are alternatives to cuts.
People queued up on May 6th, sometimes in a frustrated angry fashion, to give a mandate to local politicians to protect them from these swingeing attacks.
You must respond tonight by putting your hand in the air and voting 'No' to being a conduit for Tory/ Liberal cuts.
We completely disagree with the first wave of cuts, which seem particularly targeted at Children and Families [Waltham Forest Council Children and Families Department].
Tonight Unison, socialists and local activists would like to argue that these cuts potentially usher in many more terrible tragedies such as that of Baby P.
Fighting for more resources
Unison stands with its members in Children and Families in fighting for more resources.
You will also have a copy of the Unison motion, passed by our branch, that gives our backing to groups of workers, faced with slash and burn cuts, to take strike action.
No worker wants to do this, but with 12 jobseekers to every one vacancy in the borough, and the assault on benefits by this government, many will feel they have no choice.
You as the elected politicians should stand with them by voting 'No' tonight. Your campaign for more police is a small example of what could be possible.
Waltham Forest Anti-Cuts union
Next week on Thursday 29th July in William Morris Community centre on Greenleaf Road at 7.30pm activists, trade unionists, socialists and members of the local community will be meeting to initiate a Waltham Forest Anti-Cuts union.
If you vote 'No' tonight you are welcome too.
We have deliberately chosen the name anti-cuts union because it evokes memories of the mighty Poll Tax battles of the early 1990s.
Then too we had a Tory government, broken and defeated by a mass movement which was organised in anti-Poll tax unions.
That movement saw the abolition of the poll tax and the ousting of Thatcher.
If you vote 'No' tonight you will be remembered for being on the right side of history.
If you vote 'yes' you will go down as leaders, who stood at the back of the movement with your hands open, arguing that there was nothing you could do whilst people lost their jobs and their services.
We appeal to you tonight stand with us because we will not just lie down and let these cuts go through.