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From The Socialist newspaper, 19 October 2016

Bristol: Millions of pounds of "horrifically unpalatable" cuts

2,000 rallied for Jeremy Corbyn in Bristol, 8.8.16, photo Matthew Carey

2,000 rallied for Jeremy Corbyn in Bristol, 8.8.16, photo Matthew Carey   (Click to enlarge)

Mike Luff, Unison member (personal capacity)

Bristol is facing massive attacks on its jobs and services, under a rapidly capitulating newly elected Labour mayor, Marvin Rees. The mayor, when challenged on television that he was elected on an anti-austerity platform, surprised the interviewer by saying "no".

The cuts being proposed include the removal of bus subsidies, charges for users of dementia services, fees for disabled parking bays, library closures - the list goes on. It amounts to 27 million cuts for 2017-2018, and then there is a further 65 million cuts by 2020. Even the mayor describes his proposed cuts as "horrifically unpalatable".

This is in addition to 1,000 full-time equivalent posts being cut, one sixth of the workforce over the next few months. This will inevitably lead to hundreds of compulsory redundancies. As a regional Unison officer said: "the cuts in jobs are not sustainable at such thin levels". Services will easily collapse.

The day before these announcements, the local anti-cuts alliance met with the mayor. We put forward a way to build a mass campaign of trade unions, communities and campaigns across the city, which would strengthen the demand for the return of our money from this weak Tory government. By using reserves and prudential borrowing, cuts can be frozen legally for a period, during which such a campaign can be built.

The excuse given for not trying to build such a campaign was that it would weaken negotiations with the government! The fact that such an approach has been used and failed over the previous years is conveniently forgotten.

Jeremy Corbyn visited Bristol supporting Rees on a number of occasions during the election campaign stating: "the message of opposition to austerity". Jeremy has to face up to the undermining of Labour's anti-austerity leadership by those carrying out the Tory cuts.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 19 October 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS at breaking Point

Teachers working 60 hours need strikes, not studies

Elderly care at crisis point

Health campaigns demonstrate together in 'one fight'

NHS cancer and dementia drugs 'unaffordable'

Them & Us


What we think

No backtracks, no compromises: we must fight for real democracy in the Labour Party

TUSC discusses new tasks after Corbyn victory


Workplace news and analysis

Sheffield bin striker slams privatised refuse bosses

Newsquest strike: Bosses realise 'contraints' of scab labour

London Underground cleaners protest pay cut

Support the 'Kinsley 3' cleaners in pay fight


International socialist news and analysis

Syria: horror deepens in Aleppo


Socialist history

Aberfan: a disaster that should never have happened

Suez 1956: the decline of British imperialism and rise of the colonial revolution


Black History Month

The radical life of Paul Robeson


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Butterfields housing victory: "We showed that if you stick together and fight you can win"

Come to Socialism 2016

Can you donate to the Socialism 2016 appeal?

Cheshire and Merseyside: Huge NHS cuts and privatisation planned

Devon: Campaigning against community hospitals closures

Bristol: Millions of pounds of "horrifically unpalatable" cuts


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Moving, funny and inspiring tribute to working class heroism

Film review: Deepwater Horizon

Review: BBC2's Poetry Night

The Socialist inbox


 

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Related links:

Bristol:

triangleTV - Statue wars: one summer in Bristol

triangleExhibition: What next for the statue of slave trader, Edward Colston?

triangleBristol: Police to blame for protest violence

triangleBristol Socialist Party: Fight to save our NHS!

triangleNHS in crisis - 'It's time for action'

Cuts:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Flooding, homelessness, cuts... Walthamstow needs a re-set - what's the socialist plan?

triangleTower Hamlets Labour backs Tory cuts

triangleGovernment departments move to impose pay cuts

triangleDagenham school workers strike against 'fire and rehire' pay cuts

Austerity:

triangleReaders' comments

triangleHopeless Hancock replaced

triangleTUSC calls for local 'People's Budget' campaigns

Labour:

triangleTories and Labour fail on child poverty

triangleLabour expulsions confirm need for new mass workers' party

Unison:

triangleNew left NEC meets - Organise the fight back now

Anti-austerity:

triangleDonate now to fuel our election campaigns

Redundancies:

triangleLeicester University workers strike against redundancies

Library:

triangleVictory for library workers after 241 days on strike!

Anti-cuts:

triangleLondon - We need socialists into City Hall

Closures:

triangleRoad closures: Hackney residents have not been consulted

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