Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/340/5691
Stop The Jobs Slaughter
Defend Public Services
GORDON BROWN dropped a budget bombshell. Over 40,000 civil service jobs are to be axed. Thousands more could go through 'efficiency' savings.
Mark Everden from a Brighton Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) office told the socialist:
"Everyone in my office is stunned. It's indefensible. The government keep introducing new things which are supposed to help unemployed people and then they throw a quarter of the staff which are supposed to be delivering these measures onto the dole.
"It's not a case of 'Yes Minister'-type civil servants either. The majority who work in the DWP exist on low pay. Many work part-time and many are single parents. In fact they're some of the very people the DWP are supposed to be lifting out of poverty! Yet we're expected to join the dole queue.
"Brown's proposals will be especially bad for us in the south east, as they come on top of the Lyons and the Gershon reports. They want to move jobs out of the south east. But that will be a disaster. Unemployment is already starting to go up here and the cost of living is high, so losing your job can be catastrophic.
"Most people are extremely angry and they feel that this really is the last straw. But even though people are stunned at Brown's announcement, they're looking forward to our next strike on 13 April, over pay. And I've had more people join the union today so that they can take part.
"The PCS reps know that if the regional managers have the job of picking who's going to be made redundant, the first thing they'll do is get a list of union activists. So it's in all our interests to fight back against these attacks."
The axe is mainly falling on the civil service. But the whole of the public sector is under attack from New Labour.
- We say:
Support the civil servants in their fight against job cuts and low pay.
In The Socialist 27 March 2004:
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