Campaigning for TUSC - a voice for the working class. Photo Waltham Forest Socialist Party
Campaigning for TUSC - a voice for the working class. Photo Waltham Forest Socialist Party

Ryan Aldred, Plymouth Socialist Party

In February, Plymouth Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) sent an amendment for the council’s budget to independent councillor Chaz Singh. The TUSC amendment was circulated among other ex-Labour independent councillors as well as the local Conservative and Labour leaders.

The threat alone of tabling our anti-cuts proposals forced the Conservatives who run the council to amend their own budget – cutting the rise in council tax from 1.99% to 1.74%. In response, Labour proposed a 0% increase in council tax.

While we welcome this, our amendment went much further. One Labour councillor said: “We have costed this, and will make the cuts elsewhere”.

And both Labour and the Tories supported a 1% increase in council tax, supposedly for social care. When in control of the council, Labour raised council tax to the maximum it could without triggering a referendum every year it was in power.

Plymouth TUSC called for a legal, no-cuts budget – no council tax rises and reversing £6.2 million cuts proposed by the Tories. It was disappointing Chaz did a complete 180 – voting with the Conservatives, rather than tabling our amendment.

The Tories, Labour and so-called ‘independents’ are out of touch with what Plymouth residents need. That is why Plymouth TUSC is excited to announce that we have 12 candidates confirmed as standing in the local elections this May. This includes union members from UCU, Usdaw, CWU, Unite and Unison. Three are former Labour members.

We invite trade unionists, community campaigners, socialists and those who rely on council services to campaign and stand for TUSC. Join us to demonstrate what real opposition to the Tories looks like.