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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 June 2010

Budget Day: workers' responses

'We will fight the bloodbath budget'

Glenn Kelly

Glenn Kelly

AS A council workers' representative I sat awaiting our fate from part one of the Con-Dem government's bloodbath budget.

Glenn Kelly

Without an ounce of irony, George Osborne told the country that while "public sector workers were not the cause of recession we must share the burden to clean it up" and that this was "a progressive budget where the rich will pay more".

For us it will mean:

All of this, of course, is before the massive onslaught of 25% cuts in our jobs to be announced in the autumn.

For the rich:

The government has delivered its intentions to us today, now it's time for us to send them a message, that we will organise the biggest fight possible against these attacks!

Glenn Kelly

Unite all workers to fight these cuts

TAXING THE poor to bail out the rich! The Conservatives and disgracefully their Liberal lackeys have produced a budget that hits the low-paid hardest. Increasing VAT to 20% means that the poor will be hit disproportionately hard when paying for the staples of life.

A 25% cut in the transport budget means huge job cuts and a terrifying dilution of safety, and destroys all pretence of a 'green transport policy'.

The freezing of public sector pay is a vindictive attempt to hit those on low incomes and scapegoat public sector workers, (whose average pension is only £4,000), in order to pay for the bankers' crisis.

We must unite all workers from the public and private sectors to smash these proposals by protest demonstrations and industrial action. The RMT tubelines workers will start a 48-hour dispute from 19:00 on 23 June.

Steve Hedley, London Transport Regional Organiser RMT union

Housing benefit slashed

OSBORNE ANNOUNCED cuts of £1.8 billion in housing benefit saying that the system was "completely out of control". But spending is high because of the shift away from 'bricks and mortar' subsidy - in other words, historically low levels of building social housing leading to long waiting lists meant that people had to go into the private rented sector and pay very high rents. Landlords get tax breaks and, in effect, a further subsidy for high rents from housing benefit. It's not the tenants that get rich through housing benefit.

Housing worker

Budget offers no relief for youth

"THIS GOVERNMENT have abolished the Future Jobs Fund with no replacement", said Ben Robinson, Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) chair.

"Benefit cuts announced today of £11 billion are expected to include Job Seekers Allowance and nearly £2 billion from housing benefit, both already lower if you are a young person.

"With the intention to sell off the Student Loans Company, the first step towards charging commercial interest rates, and cuts already announced to further and higher education funding, this is a government that is taking from youth without returning any offer of a future.

"All the while big business is offered the lowest corporation tax rates ever."

"The recession has seen the future promised to young people shattered. This government is not even offering to help pick up the pieces."

Build a socialist alternative

"WE WILL fight these cuts" was the loud message from the Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) protest outside Deptford Jobcentre in south London on budget day. Speakers from the lecturers' union the UCU, the NUT teachers' union and the PCS civil service union graphically spoke of what this government and the local council cuts already mean.

After a marvellous campaign to save Deptford Job centre Tony Reay, PCS rep, said the government had now reneged on the deal and the Jobcentre faces closure for the second time in recent years.

NUT secretary Martin Powell-Davies highlighted the attacks on schools with the Academies Bill. Martin also spoke of the need to try to unite the different anti-cuts campaigns into a Lewisham wide anti-cuts campaign.

Annie Holder, UCU representative in community education, Lewisham, outlined the cutting of crèche services to parents in adult education with 26 crèche workers facing the sack.

Mark Nicholson from Lewisham YFJ spoke of the attacks facing young people. All the speakers made clear the determination of their union members and people in the local community to fight these cuts.

In summing up the protest former Socialist Party councillor Ian Page spoke of the need to build a new mass party based on socialism to provide the political alternative to all the parties carrying through these cuts.

Chris Newby

Ballot for action

THE FOLLOWING motion was agreed unanimously at Lewisham National Union of Teachers (NUT) general meeting on 21 June. In part it states:

"This Association agrees that the union, locally and nationally, must mount a determined campaign to defend pay, pensions and conditions and our schools and public services from this government's cuts and privatisation plans.

We are angered that the budget is targeting public sector workers by proposing that teachers and other colleagues pay for a financial crisis that was none of our making.

These cuts will only damage our living standards and damage the economy as well.

We call on the NUT executive and the emergency SFC committee to:

PCS trade union protest outside Treasury

THE CIVIL service union PCS organised a lively protest outside the Treasury on budget day. Angry protesters chanted: "It's better to tax the rich than break the poor." PCS assistant general secretary Chris Baugh explained that public sector workers face "the mother of all battles" to defeat the massive attacks on public services and jobs. We therefore need coordinated action with other public sector unions.

Paula Mitchell

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In The Socialist 23 June 2010:

Stop budget attacks with mass action

Budget cuts hitting the poorest hardest

Youth fight for jobs

Young people: fight for your future!

Youth speak for jobs at UCU union rally

Anti-EDL protest

Protesting at Iain's Dickensian Society

National Shop Stewards Network

The role of the NSSN in the battle to defend public sector jobs and services


Budget Day: workers' responses

Fightback to stop the cuts - public meetings

Bloody Sunday

Bloody Sunday: Innocent protesters murdered by the British army in 1972

Workplace news and analysis

PCS union rejects 'inevitable' cuts

Unison election: Over 42,000 votes for socialist candidate

Unison leadership: Lack of anti-cuts strategy

Fighting cuts in Nottingham: Save the WAP day centre

Workplace news in brief

National Shrewsbury 24 Justice Campaign March and Rally

Socialist Party news and analysis

Refugee and Migrant Justice: Save this vital service!

Afghan war

Coventry rally against public sector cuts

Stop attacks on services for the vulnerable in Nuneaton

Birmingham: Growing anger against cuts

Save South Leeds Pool

Why BP should be nationalised

Socialist Party feature

How deep is Britain's media crisis?

International socialist news and analysis

Ethnic conflict explodes in Kyrgyzstan

Donate to aid Greek socialists


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