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Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Experts predict bleak outlook for UK jobs in 2011

Government hopes that the private sector will lead an economic recovery were dashed by a leading human resources body today.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) gave a bleak forecast for the economy next year, only expecting a "sustained recovery" in 2013.
"The CIPD forecasts that the coming year will be worse for jobs than 2010, with a small rise in unemployment and a further period of below-inflation pay rises the best that can realistically be expected," said the CIPD report.

In a revealing report about the attitudes of working people in the public and private sector, the institute found that confidence about job prospects remained "low" among workers.
Just 10 per cent of all workers surveyed believed it would be easy or very easy to get a new job if they lost their current job within the next year and only 28 per cent were very or fairly optimistic about their ability to change jobs.

CIPD chief economic adviser John Philpott said: "2011 will be a fingers-crossed year for the economy and jobs.
"Labour market conditions will remain weak in 2012 before starting to recover more robustly in 2013."
The CIPD predicts that the number of people in work will fall by 200,000 in 2011 - 120,000 in the public sector and 80,000 in the private sector.

Unemployment is forecast to rise to 9 per cent, or 2.7 million, while average earnings are expected to increase by a below-inflation 2 per cent.

Communist Party of Britain general secretary Rob Griffiths said: "We are paying the price for decades of speculation. "Capital must be directed into productive industry including transport, house building and sustainable energy. "The free market, if it ever existed, is well and truly dead and government of every colour will have no option but to embrace planning and increasing public control of the economy."

Left Economics Advisory Project co-ordinator Andrew Fisher said: "The CIPD report spells out the inevitable consequences of the coalition government's policies.
"Jobs and wages have been sacrificed to maintain corporate profitability. The only new jobs are temporary and insecure. This squeeze is unsustainable. The cuts will prove self-defeating."

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Solidarity between British Students & Unemployed Claimants

Students & Unemployed Benefit Claimants joined forces in SOLIDARITY - protesting against the rise in tuition fees & cuts in benefits, vowed today to continue their sit-in at a Kent university building until the new year.

The protesters have occupied the University of Kent's Senate building on its Canterbury campus since December 8.

They want the university and its vice-chancellor to publicly condemn the planned fee rises and education cuts, which would see tuition fees increase to as much as £9,000 a year.

Student Alan Bolwell "We are prepared to stay over Christmas, we are prepared to stay over New Year's, we are prepared to stay as long as it takes."

But the university said it is now considering taking legal action to remove the students as it is due to close for the holidays.

A spokesman said: "The university is preparing to close down for Christmas so we're in talks with the students to try and come up with a solution that we all agree on.

"We may have to get a possession order so we can start to use the Senate building for its purpose again but that's very much a last resort."

Some British MPs joined campaigners today in condemning government plans to cut housing benefit.

The MPs warned at a cross-party parliamentary committee today that the cuts would ghettoise residential areas and see homelessness spiral out of control as people struggle to pay their rent.

They called on the government to scrutinise the impact of its proposals to cut housing benefit and be prepared to invest more.

In a money-saving bid the coalition is planning to cut housing benefit by 10 per cent after a year out of work, cap weekly rates at £400 and link payments to the cheapest 30 per cent of properties in an area rather than the average rent.

But the work and pensions committee warned that the cuts would not only cause people to move to cheaper areas but may force some onto the streets if they end up in rent arrears.

In an inquiry into the changes some witnesses told the committee that an increase in evictions and homelessness was "inevitable."

The committee also said ministers were being optimistic in assuming that landlords will cut rents in response to benefit reductions and urged them to come forward with a "more nuanced approach" that recognises the difference between disabled people and single parents from those not looking for work.

British Property Federation representing landlords Ian Fletcher said the reforms posed a "welfare gamble."

Mr Fletcher said: "This report encapsulates the deep concern there is among backbench MPs, landlords and other stakeholders over reforms to the housing benefit system. We are seeing a huge gamble with high stakes for claimants, landlords and the public purse."

He added he is not surprised that even some Tory and Liberal Democrat MPs are critical and "sensed rebellion brewing" unless the government is more transparent about the proposals.

Defend Council Housing chairwoman Eileen Short said: "Homelessness is already rising with the recession causing a record number of repossessions and evictions.

"Now the government's own expert advisers have given hard evidence that its housing benefit policies are disastrous and totally unjust.

"Combined with the government's vicious attacks on social housing, with the threat against security of tenure and rent increases, these cuts amount to a total onslaught on the whole principle of council homes and communities."

Defend Council Housing is organising a mass lobby of parliament on February 15 against the government's social housing policies.

Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said that the report provided yet more evidence of government cuts leading to homelessness as an increasing number of people are unable to afford to stay in their homes.

"Future plans to break the link between housing benefit and the cost of rents will make this situation even worse, leaving large swathes of the country completely unaffordable for claimants," he said.

Welfare Reform Minister Lord Freud claimed that the housing benefit reforms will "return fairness to a system that currently sees some claiming over £30,000 a year to live in large houses in expensive areas that ordinary hard-working families cannot afford."

Monday, 6 December 2010

UK Robbed of their futures !

There's little more fascinating than the responses of Tory politicians to uncomfortable truths and the knee-jerk reactions of Employment Minister Chris Grayling are no exception to the rule.

Faced with the dreadful statistic that the number of 16 to 24-year-olds claiming unemployment benefit for more than 12 months has increased fourfold since before the recession, Mr Grayling's knee jerked into overdrive.

And it immediately spun him around so that he was looking backwards.

In true Tory fashion, he launched into an attack on the policies of the last Labour government, saying that, "despite throwing millions of pounds at the problem, the patchwork of ill-conceived and poorly thought out schemes we inherited from the last government failed young people across the country."

What he didn't say was that his government has already demolished, cancelled or shut down nearly all that "patchwork" of schemes.

He didn't even try to explain what these wholesale cancellations would do to help unemployed young people.

Nor did he explain how putting the best part of half a million public-sector workers on the dole was calculated to improve the employment prospects of young people, or how capping the pay of hundreds of thousands more would increase demand and create jobs for school and college leavers to take up.

He explained that his government was developing work experience opportunities so that young people get the skills and experience they need to successfully compete in the labour market. Unfortunately, he didn't then enlighten us as to what jobs these newly experienced youngsters would be competing for.

And he completely forgot to mention that there are already more than five people competing for every available vacancy, even before his government's huge cuts programme has fully taken effect.

"We are already seeing signs," said the purblind Mr Grayling, "that the youth labour market is beginning to recover from the recession."

One wonders what those signs are. Perhaps the Employment Minister has secret skills in reading the entrails of animals or, maybe, he has been retrained in reading crystal balls, because there's certainly no sign of such a turnaround in the real world.

In that real world, which the rest of us inhabit, the truth is more accurately portrayed by TUC general secretary Brendan Barber, who acidly commented that "a million young people lost their jobs in the recession, crucial education and job support schemes have been scrapped and they'll soon be priced out of going to university. It's no wonder young people are angry about being left high and dry by this government."

It would seem that even the normally diplomatic and even-tempered Mr Barber is running out of patience with the headbangers of the Con-Dem coalition - and it's not surprising. Because Mr Grayling, like the rest of his Tory crew, seems incapable of addressing the real problem.

The real problem is that we are in the midst of a recession manufactured by speculators and perpetuated by a government which is diverting cash from public services to bail those same speculators out.

The government is doing it despite the harm that it's doing to society at large and in defiance of all the economic signals, which indicate that the path they are taking leads directly from recession into slump, a depression to rival any in the modern history of capitalism.

Financial collapse is rolling across Europe country by country , fuelled by this multinational bailout, the biggest daylight robbery in the history of the world and, despite protestations to the contrary, this country is no more immune than Greece, Ireland or Portugal.

And the real losers in this robbery are the elderly, who are losing much of their care and security in old age, and the young, who are being robbed of their future.

More than two million children from working households are living in poverty, setting a new record, a report has shown.

The study Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion was published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

It recorded a huge 2.1 million impoverished youngsters living in Britain where their parents or carers have jobs.

In contrast the number of poverty-stricken children living in workless households has dropped to 1.6 million, the lowest number since 1984.

And the research found that the overall number of children living in poverty has fallen to 3.7 million.

The report's co-author Tom MacInnes said that were it not for substantial increases in child benefit and child tax credit in 2008 the number of children in poverty would be around half a million higher.

The figures show that children from working households account for 58 per cent of youngsters living in poverty.

Mr MacInnes said this gave the lie to the idea that work alone was the answer to poverty. "Child poverty in working households must be given the same focus as out-of-work poverty," he said.

We cannot hope to end child poverty when more and more children whose parents are in work find their lives damaged by poverty regardless.

We must demand decisive action from the government and employers to increase the incomes of working families.

Making work pay is the government's rallying cry, but this report shows that for a record 2.1 million working families, work doesn't pay enough to keep them and their children above the bread line.

The danger is that cuts to working tax credit and childcare support will further penalise working families already struggling to make ends meet.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Ravings from another time

Well now we know why the UK government appears to be impervious to reason over its slash and burn economic policies and immune to reason over the hardships that it's imposing on the unemployed.

It is, apparently, because the man whom Slasher Cameron appointed as his adviser on enterprise, Lord Young of Graffham, thinks that we've "never had it so good," despite the "so-called recession."

That certainly clears up why on earth the Prime Minister appointed this loony lord as his adviser - he needed a court jester to lighten his weary moments after a hard day demolishing workers' livings.

Not that we should expect anything different from a man who occupied the shameful position of trade and industry secretary in the Thatcher government and who has since conducted a review of health and safety regulation for this government during which he distinguished himself by observing that health and safety is regarded, "at best, as an object of ridicule and, at worst, a bureaucratic nightmare."

Downing Street was quick to attempt to distance the Prime Minister from Lord Young's Harold Macmillan moment, stating that Mr Cameron was "unimpressed," but also insisted that his lordship would continue in his position despite his faux pas - until he was forced by sheer pressure of public opinion to resign later in the day, that is.

Which tells you quite a lot about this government. Lurking below the surface of "modern" Toryism is the same old beast of Thatcherite excess and Cameron and co have merely hidden it in a dark corner - from which it occasionally escapes to parade the same old contempt for working people as ever.

Although treasured and preserved in private, it's disavowed in public when the beast escapes and embarrassingly starts shooting off its mouth in public.

So we are left to wonder about the world inhabited by Lord Young. It's a world in which the 2.45 million unemployed do not exist and the 1.3 million who have lost their jobs so far during the recession don't count.

It's a world in which the council tenants facing the loss of security of tenure and huge rises in their rents are insignificant when counted against mortgagees who have gained a few bob on low interest rates.

And it's a world in which the damage done by those same low interest rates to the savings of pensioners lucky enough to have any doesn't matter.

In short, it's the Tory ideal world that Mrs Thatcher and Lord Young strove for and that David Cameron and his grovelling Lib-Dem allies are steadily perfecting.

The potty peer remarked that he didn't remember being short of money in 2007. He's probably right. In fact, the gold-plated Tory twit has never been short of a bob or two in his whole life and that goes for the majority of the Cabinet of multimillionaires - 18 at the last count.

But, for the rest of us mere mortals, unencumbered with the burdens of great wealth, 2007 has a rather different resonance. It's the year that the bankers' gross and irresponsible speculative bubble burst and subprime mortgage gambles damn nearly brought the finances of the capitalist world down around their ears.

And that, dear readers, was the trigger for an offensive against the working class by Young and his ilk which looks set to reverse all the advances made in the 20th century.

Unless, that is, we can fight them off and consign his lordship, his backwoods Tory mates, their rich-kid front men and their Lib-Dem stooges, to the dustbin.

The fightback against this ruling-class offensive is slowly getting under way. Small victories are being registered across the country and larger battles are looming.

The world according to Lord Young cannot be allowed to exist except in his fond imaginings. It is too damaging for the life of our class and the future of our children.

The cost of their privilege has always been our underprivilege and their wealth has always come at the price of others' poverty. The fight has been too arduous to lose now, particularly to a condescending toff emerging from the dark past of Thatcherite gloom to haunt us again.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

No to cuts in the UK !!

We have already drawn attention to the remarkable sound of tracks being backed by this coalition government in its over-hasty, ill-thought-out and doctrinaire cuts programme.

Today saw the interesting sight of the Tory leadership desperately trying to salvage its fragile alliance with the Lib Dem backbenches and rein in dissatisfaction with its draconian programme of housing cuts.

And, lord help them, they are even having to quell dissent among some of the more progressive of their own ranks - the ones with inner-city constituencies who can see their re-election prospects shrinking rapidly during the course of this purge.

Now purge may seem at first sight to be putting it a little strongly, but let's reprise the Tory housing programme. There's ending security of tenure for council tenants, higher social rents - which could be 80 per cent of the market rent - a cap on housing benefit of about £400 a week and a 10 per cent cut in housing benefit for anyone on jobseeker's allowance for more than a year.

Oh, and there's a cut of 50 per cent on the amount spent on new social housing, even at the new, higher rent levels. All of which would contribute to a remarkable change in the environment of our bigger cities.

Downing Street says it is "absolutely committed" to the housing benefit reforms. So let's look at the consequences of this "absolute commitment."

First, of course is the consequential forced relocation of tens of thousands of families from inner-city homes that the housing benefit cap will mean that they can no longer afford to live in.

And make no mistake, we are talking here about working families, not the mainly fictitious idle unemployed living in supposed luxury accommodation.

We are talking about those working at or near the minimum wage who keep our cities clean, who keep the services running and who work anti-social hours while the rest of us are safely asleep in our pits, preparing the cities for the new day.

We are talking about wholesale social engineering, driving the less well off from our city centres and into peripheral housing estates where they can afford to live, but how they get to work and how they bear the additional travel costs is anyone's guess.

And, since this forced exodus will drive up demand for peripheral housing, it will also drive up rents in the private sector. Which, since the government is intent on setting social rents as a percentage of those applying in the private rented sector, will in turn force social housing rents higher and higher.

One thing that is certain is that it won't work and, if it's even tried, it will result in precisely the same situation that France experiences around Paris, where outlying estates rapidly become ghettoised and centres of violent unrest for the young, poorly paid or unemployed.

And then comes a 10 per cent cut in benefit for anyone on jobseeker's allowance for over a year.

Now that's really adding insult to injury. Families trapped in worklessness by massive Tory cuts in the public sector - forcing them into a private sector which is failing to produce enough jobs - will be driven out of their homes if they can't find a new job in 12 months.

But where will these families be driven to? Why, if they are forced into the subsistence-level work that seems to be all that's available, those jobs won't provide sufficient income to live, and will thus serve merely to transfer them from one benefit onto another.

Or are the Tories presuming that they will simply starve? A neutral observer could be forgiven for assuming that to be the case.

But, since we are not neutral, let's make this plain. The working class won't be driven out, they won't be starved out and they won't be marginalised.

British people are slow to anger and slower still to fight back. But once it dawns on them that all that's left is resistance, then Tories beware. It won't be the working class that's driven out of its Westminster tenure.

In many ways, it's catch-up day today, where we look in more detail at the Con-Dem massacre of public services and the welfare state in the spending review.

There was so much hitting the working class in Osborne's indiscriminate butchery that there was barely space in the whole paper to mention it all, let alone absorb, digest and analyse it.

But, today, we survey the wreckage of the living room after Osborne's party and the debris that he and his co-celebrants left in the wake of their bacchanal. We are finding that the truth is worse than we could have ever expected.

In fact, it's so bad that economist David Blanchflower, a member of the Bank of England's rate-setting committee for three years and a professor of economics, warned that a double-dip recession was now inevitable and described the review as "the greatest error seen in our lifetime in economics."

He continued that "there's no example in history where such a thing as this has ever worked. The only examples in history is where it's failed. This is like trying to train an Olympic athlete to run faster and you say "I've got a great solution" and you cut both his legs off - it's as absurd as that."

Warwick University emeritus professor of political economy Lord Skidelsky concurred, quoting Keynes on the Great Depression to the effect that "there will be no means of escape from prolonged and perhaps interminable depression except by direct state intervention to promote and subsidise new investment," adding: "George Osborne be warned."

From across the full range of British society, the condemnation is coming thick and fast.

Unite's joint general secretary Derek Simpson encapsulated the trade union movement position when he fumed: "This is not a spending review, it's a massacre. It's totally perverse to claim that cutting half a million jobs and razing our public services to the ground is good for this country."

And Paul Kenny from GMB noted that, "after this review, the broadest shoulders will still have the fattest wallets. The price for George Osborne's day of reckoning will be paid by the economy, in the public and private sectors and by the unemployed, for a decade to come. In a well-leaked, ideological speech, arrogantly delivered, the demise of public services and the welfare state was laid out in front of us."

RMT leader Bob Crow, in characteristically blunt words, summed it up when he warned that "this is all-out class war with its roots firmly planted in the playing fields of Eton."

Local authority workers, council tenants, disabled people, the unemployed, school pupils, students, single parents, rail and bus passengers, motorists, the regions, the devolved governments, hardly anyone has escaped the cold, dead hand of Tory cutbacks.

And, from deputy Lib Dem leader Simon Hughes, who boasted that we could see the footprints of the Lib Dems all over the review, down to Rochdale Mayor Zulfiqar Ali, who claimed that the spending cuts would be good for everyone - including the 84 per cent of residents on benefits in his council ward - the snivelling Lib-Dem toadies of the Tories bear their full share of the blame.

Mark you, the Labour Party hasn't exactly covered itself in glory. Its commitment to cuts has hamstrung any fighting defence of our class, reducing it to faint demurrals along the lines of "too soon, too deep."

But there is a fighting response to this class-war assault. There is another way to manage the economy.

It is now up to the trade union movement to take a bold and progressive stance, rejecting these cuts, resisting this assault and working for a society in which the rich take responsibility for the results of their greed and the poor are not forced to pay for them.

George Osborne has drawn a line in the sand and it is now up to the leaders of our organised working class to step up to the mark and lead the fightback.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Unions and activists unite for demo

Unions and activists unite for demo

Sunday 24 October 2010

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Sheffield on Saturday as part of a nationwide day of campaign against the Con-Dem spending cuts.

Unions and campaigners attending the huge demonstration included PCS, NUT, pensioners' groups, trades councils, GMB, Unision, Unite, Green Party, Labour Party, Communist Party of Britain, unemployed activist groups and Socialist Workers Party among many more.

TUC deputy general secretary Frances O'Grady (right) said the union organisation was "fully behind you" in the fight against these savage cuts and invited the demonstrators to join the "biggest, boldest" mass rally in London next March.

She added: "Today London FBU striking firefighters are trying to protect the people's services - we stand shoulder to shoulder with them."

Sheffield Liberal Democrat councillor Ben Curran annouced at the rally that he had defected to Labour because of "lack of resistance" shown by his party locally to the cutbacks and the "disgraceful decision" to cancel a government loan to local company Forgemasters.

"As Sheffield Lib Dem councillors, we were asked to defend what turned out to be a completely unjustifiable decision and it soon transpired that all the reasons in favour of cancelling the loan were just a pack of lies," he told the rally.

Mr Curran's decision could mean the Liberal Democrats losing control of Sheffield City Council.

Sheffield Central Labour MP Paul Blomfield MP demanded that his fellow Sheffield MP and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg steps down as MP for Hallam.

"The people of Sheffield did not elect him to savage Britain by working with the Tories - he has betrayed the people of Sheffield," he said to massive loud cheers.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

British old people, cold and a prime target !

The British Government (Tories and their Lib Dem toadies) are floating all sorts of betrayals and wizard wheezes ahead of the October 20 spending review, it appears that they are contemplating nothing less than the entire, if piecemeal, abolition of universality in benefits and the wholesale dismantling of the welfare state.

And some of the betrayals that they are casually introducing into the cuts dialogue are so bare-faced and aggressive they almost take the breath away.

Vince Cable has already reneged in public on the Lib Dem signed pledge by all MPs at their recent conference to oppose any increase in fees.

Instead, the coalition is preparing changes to university funding that will lead to massive increases in the cost of gaining a degree. And that's just one straw in the wind. There's much, much more.

Let's cast our mind back to those days before the election. At that time - in fact, on May 4 - now Prime Minister David Cameron said unequivocally: "Let me say very clearly to pensioners if you have a Conservative government your winter fuel allowance, your bus pass, your pension credit, your free TV licence, all these things are safe. You can read my lips, that is a promise from my heart."

We will see, Mr Cameron. We will see. But the signs don't look good. Already, there are rumours that the winter fuel payment could be cut from those over 60 and not paid until age 66.

There are also signs that the universality of the benefit could be challenged by the coalition, despite the fact that a recent Age UK poll showed 73 per cent of the public opposes means testing.

Also, the emergency payments made when the average temperature in a specific area falls to freezing or below for seven consecutive days are threatened.

Gordon Brown raised those payments from a miserable £8.50 a day to a more reasonable £25.

But, on Wednesday, the coalition sneaked through a statutory instrument which had the effect of cancelling the £25 rate and reverting the payments to the £8.50 of three years ago.

So much for reading the Cameron lips.

It is unfortunate for demolition man Cameron that, at the same time as his vicious government is contemplating a reversion to barbarism and leaving the old to die of cold, figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show the number of households living in fuel poverty has risen yet again.

They rose by half a million to 4.5 million in 2008, the last date for which definitive figures are available, although recent newspaper estimates put the current figure at around 6.6 million in 2010.

The figures showed that "vulnerable" households - around three-quarters of homes - were being hit by fuel price rises and the number of homes with elderly people, children or someone who has long-term illness or disability suffering from fuel poverty rose by half a million in 2008 to 3.75 million.

Those figures are horrifying and it becomes even worse when you look back just a month or two and remember that the coalition shelved plans for an independent inquiry into the £25 billion-a-year energy industry amid accusations of profiteering.

And this is despite profits by the energy companies soaring. A good example is British Gas, whose residential supply forms the main part of its business.

It reported operating profits in the first half of 2010 of £585million, up 98 per cent.

But in spite of loud pre-election threats of reference to the Competition Commission by both Lib Dems and Tories, the DECC, run by Lib Dem Chris Huhne, has confirmed: "No referral to the CC at present."

We read your lips, Mr Cameron, but all the exercise confirmed is that you are as big a liar as all your Tory and Lib Dem mates in this rancid, dishonest, class-war coalition you have the cheek to call a government.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

A cold, hard winter coming for the unemployed etc !!

If you were looking for indicators of the direction the economy is taking, it's safe to say that you won't get much joy from yesterday's unemployment statistics.

They are, without exception, poor and discouraging, especially since it's clear that the draconian cutbacks long heralded by this coalition government have yet to take their definitive shape and there's a lot more hurt to come for working people yet.

Things may be bad already but, as Unison general secretary Dave Prentis warned, "this is the false calm before the storm. Next week the Chancellor will lay the groundwork for adding 750,000 public-sector workers to the dole queues. The knock-on effects to the private sector will be huge."

There are other indicators as well and we're seeing them emerge already. If you remember, the Halifax Building Society handed out 200 free shares to each of 7.6 million society members when it floated on the stock market in 1997.

At the time of the handout, the shares were worth £1,465. They are now valued at around £38. So much for the share-owning democracy, then.

The demutualisation exercise helped no-one except the dealers who took their slice of the action when the shares were sold on, as many of them were.

To add to the feelings of impending disaster, insolvency practitioner Begbies Traynor warned yesterday that 50,299 companies had fallen into financial trouble in the third quarter of the year.

And the number of firms with either significant or critical financial woes stood at 123,361 in the three months to the end of September.

The company warned that the planned cutbacks in public-sector expenditure were set to rattle the private sector to a huge degree.

It observed that "even if the wider UK avoids a double-dip recession, public sector-dependent industries face higher levels of financial distress."

Which makes the statement by Employment Minister Chris Grayling ring fairly hollow.

"We are pressing ahead with radically overhauling the welfare system, with reassessments of those on incapacity benefits in Burnley and Aberdeen beginning this week," he said, claiming that this would somehow help the economy. Quite how wasn't made clear.

It can hardly be of help to the economy to ram people back into a jobs market which already is several million jobs short of the number needed to satisfy the unemployed figures - especially since, as Mr Prentis pointed out, there are another 750,000 public-sector jobs at risk.

And that's in addition to the 500,000 jobs in the private sector that accountants PwC forecast will be lost as a result of the public-sector cutbacks.

Those aren't trade union figures, remember. These are management estimates. They make grim reading.

Other warning signs are also emerging, although they are being desperately dressed up to appear less significant than they really are.

High street bank HSBC warned yesterday that three out of 10 people have less than £249 set aside to see them through any emergency and a third of these have no savings at all. And that's no surprise, since people are feeling the pinch already.

Birmingham Midshires, a division of Bank of Scotland, gave its own warning yesterday.

It said that Britons withdrew more than twice as much from their deposit accounts as they managed to save during the past quarter.

It was the second quarter running that consumers took more than twice as much out of their savings accounts as they paid in.

The pain is starting to appear and we haven't even been hit by the full impact of the government's spending review yet. It's going to be a long, cold and bitter winter and there's no wrapping up against it. It's time to fight back and it's time to organise. And it's a fight we have to win.

Respect For the Unemployed & Benefit Claimants

British TUC backs national demo against youth unemployment !

I attended the annual meeting of trade unions recently, brought together by the Trade Union Congress (TUC), a motion calling for action on youth unemployment, beginning with a national demonstration by the end of this year, was overwhelmingly passed.

Speaking in favour of the motion on behalf of PCS, national young members' committee (NYMC) vice chair Helen Flanagan said: "The key to the resolution is point eight, which calls for a national demonstration against youth unemployment to be built for by the trade union movement before the end of 2010. Actually I think the TUC should have had a national demonstration against all cuts in October".

The motion came from the TUC youth conference in March. Then, PCS young members' played a vital role in debating key issues and winning support for the majority of the aims and demands included in the motion. The NYMC is now calling on trade unionists and campaigners to raise the need for the TUC to name a date for the demonstration as soon as possible. A branch model motion will be drafted by the NYMC for members to raise in their branches.

Commenting, NYMC chair Alan Warner said: "When the reality of the cuts bite, young people will not stand back and do nothing. No jobs, no education, no prospects. Young people are angry and need the support of the organised trade union movement to help them break the financial shackles which stops them having a decent future".

Motion in full:

As the financial crisis unravels, youth unemployment has soared to record levels. Unemployment amongst 16- to 24-year-olds now stands near the politically sensitive one million mark. The recession means large-scale unemployment among those completing their education. Young people are forced into jobs in low-paid, low-skilled sectors, as competition for graduate opportunities and apprenticeships becomes far greater.

Congress believes it is the responsibility of the whole trade union movement to campaign for decent jobs and opportunities for young people. Tax payers’ money should be spent on investing in public services and creating jobs, instead of funding bonuses for bank bosses. Congress opposes the privatisation agenda. Money should be invested in a new social housing building programme to tackle the massive housing waiting lists and create new jobs for those unemployed within the construction industry and as well as supporting the cultural sector.

Trade unions and trades union councils nationwide are already supporting a mass mobilisation of young people to campaign for these aims through the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign. Congress calls on TUC young members to come together on the issue of youth unemployment to fight for real jobs on trade union rates of pay that offer the guarantee of a secure future for young people.

Congress calls on the General Council and affiliates to:
• Defend jobs and conditions in all sectors, to ensure people are fairly compensated in the event of job losses by campaigning for employment rights for all workers from day one
• Campaign for decent, permanent jobs for all young people, linked to the needs of communities and the environment
• campaign for apprentices to receive at least the full adult rate of the NMW from day one, unless that is superseded by a beneficial collective agreement, with at least one day a week set aside for paid training and a guaranteed job at the end of the scheme
• encourage the growth of, and work with, bodies seeking to organise the unemployed to harness their collective strength, while supporting them individually
• build for a national demonstration against youth unemployment across the trade union movement by the end of 2010

Support the Scottish Trades Union Congress “There is a Better Way Campaign”. The campaign is focussing on jobs, services, fair taxation and a living wage. The STUC will be highlighting specific events or stunts every day leading up to 23 October which are being organised by affiliates and community groups. We need to build a massive presence on the day of the demonstration in Edinburgh.23 October · 10:30 - 13:30

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"Respect For the Unemployed & Benefit Claimants"

Monday, 11 October 2010

Anti-cuts movement - Who's up for the fightback?

The GMB (Britains General Trade Union) union unleashed a counterattack against the government's cuts yesterday, warning that local authorities are already preparing to slash jobs even before they discover the extent of the assault on their budget.

The union claimed that official notifications of possible redundancy were now "piling up" in offices across the country, mainly from councils in anticipation of savage cuts in the government spending review to be announced on October 20.

When GMB warns of a "tsunami" of job losses in the public sector even before the government's comprehensive spending review, it isn't indulging in fantasy or speculation.

The union is telling the plain, unvarnished truth.

A tidal wave of notifications of impending redundancies is horrifying its members and deeply worrying the union's officers, who are finding themselves in an almost Canute-like situation, trying to hold the line against an attack of dire proportions.

When national officer Brian Strutton warns that "the people losing their jobs have nowhere to go because the private sector is shedding people too," he is not only reflecting a present reality but a future perspective for tens and hundreds of thousands across the public and private sectors.

Because this government, this coalition of butchers, has barely started on its declared objective of decimating the public sector in the cause of saving money.

Chancellor George Osborne's spending review is still in the future, but its conclusions are being prejudged by local authorities across the country.

As a result, private-sector suppliers to authorities are in as much fear as public servants themselves.

It's not only local authorities who are behaving as if disaster is a foregone conclusion, however.

Ministers, who obviously know more about the way things are developing, are also attempting to prepare for the worst.

Turncoat-in-chief Vince Cable is even willing to take his own party on in the quest to serve his Tory wrecker masters better.

Despite his party's pre-election pledges to stand firm against raising tuition fees and its commitment to a graduate tax, Mr Cable was backtracking so fast that he stood in danger of vanishing up his own back passage at the weekend.

Suddenly, he has seen the light and is now fully in line with his Tory masters. Are there no depths that this opportunist time-server won't sink to?

Perhaps that's because he's been tipped off that Lord Browne's report into university funding and student finance will zero in on increasing fees.

It has even been suggested that he will recommend the total abolition of a fees cap, in which case Mr Cable would have looked so out of step that resignation would have been the only honourable alternative.

And the evidence is that he's so fixated on power he would rather turn on his own party's declared policy than relinquish his slender hold on the reins.

So forget defending education, forget defending students who are starting their working lives deep in debt and, just as important, forget defending equal access to education for poorer people who can't ven contemplate that level of indebtedness. Just safeguard your own position appears to be Mr Cable's motto.

And it's that last piece of forgetfulness that will hurt most. Because it's in the field of equality that some of the deepest damage is being done.

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, equal pay for men and women appears to be "grinding to a halt" with full-time women workers still earning 16.4 per cent less than men, disabled men earn 11 per cent less than other male workers, while the gap is 22 per cent for women.

Black graduates face a pay penalty of up to 24 per cent, the list is almost endless and figures say that the cuts will his these groups hardest.

To cap it all, total household wealth of the top 10 per cent is almost 100 times higher than for the poorest 10 per cent, while one in five people live in a household with less than 60 per cent of average income.

So, with benefits cuts on the horizon and job prospects falling, the outlook is bleak indeed and the coalition is set to make it immeasurably worse.

The need for a full-on fightback has never been more apparent. Now all that's needed is the organisation and the leadership. Who's up for the fight?

If you think of Thatcher in the '80s, the most she cut was 10 per cent and we are still feeling the effect in many a town & cities up & down Britain. Councils are planning hundreds if not thousands of redundancies on top of previous threats to thousands of jobs in areas including Birmingham, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Walsall, Croydon and Dorset. This tidal wave of redundancy notices is coming because councils are seeking to further reduce staff costs for next year in anticipation of reduced budgets when the government announces cuts on October 20.

Activists called on people from across Scotland today to get behind the STUC to oppose the cuts.

A packed workshop on the coalition's cuts in Glasgow debated a full range of methods and tactics to oppose the Con-Dems' agenda and shared their experiences to find a common way forward.

Communist Party of Britain executive member Tommy Morrison opened the discussion by reporting on the Unison union's campaign in Scotland to defend members against wage freezes and job losses.

Although accepting there were difficulties in getting people to resist pay restraint, Mr Morrison pointed out: "There has been success in community campaigns.

"We have to give confidence to local councillors to issue defiance budgets by having mass turnouts at lobbies," he said.

"We can really turn the screw and build a mass movement against the cuts."

Unison's Steve Smellie emphasised the need for "getting over the point that the cuts are not economically necessarily - they are politically and ideologically motivated.

"And it's not just about saving one day centres or nurseries - it's about linking it up all these cuts as part of an overall programme.

"No political party has earned the right to lead this resistance, so the trade unions need to inspire and lead this campaign."

There were several calls to build support for the STUC-backed anti-cuts march in Edinburgh and use alternative media such as the Morning Star to get the message across that there is an alternative.

STUC assistant general secretary Stephen Boyd added: "October 23 is not the culmination for workers across Scotland - it is the start of a mass campaign against the cuts."

Friday, 8 October 2010

Attacks on UK benefit Claimants - Erosion of democracy !

Chancellor George Osborne's proposals earlier in the week for a maximum limit on the amount of benefits a family could claim, is a cap on family benefits it would cause suffering to some of society's most vulnerable children.

The Chancellor did not put a figure on the new welfare cap but said that, with the exception of the disabled, no family should receive more in benefits than the average family was paid for going to work.

Politicians should be focusing on how they are going to meet the target to end child poverty in the UK by 2020 rather than perpetuating the myth of the undeserving poor.

Children are the ones who'll end up suffering if a parent suddenly loses their job because of the economic crisis, or if their mum or dad becomes a single parent.

Most children in poverty had at least one parent in work, but were still poor because their work was low paid.

The government needs to concentrate its energies on making sure that families are better off when a parent takes a job or increases their hours rather than staying on benefits, as Iain Duncan Smith is proposing.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt also came under fire for saying that the government's new family cap reflected the need for long-term claimants to "take responsibility" for the number of children they have.

The state "shouldn't support" large families who receive more in benefits than the average family earns, he declared.

"The number of children that you have is a choice and what we're saying is that if people are living on benefits, then they make choices but they also have to have responsibility for those choices," he argued.

"It's not going to be the role of the state to finance those choices."

Coercion has been used in the past. The 1974 USA case of Relf v Weinberger showed that between 100,000 and 150,000 low income women were sterilised annually under federally-funded programs, and that some of these women had only consented to be sterilised after being threatened with removal of benefits.

Birth control programmes and forced sterilisation were also used in Germany to eliminate groups that the "Third Reich" disliked.

Tory Chancellor, Osborne went to war on benefit / welfare claimants during his speech to the Conservative Conference in Birmingham. In an unprecedented move, the Chancellor capped how much the unemployed can get from the state. Osborne told Day Two of the Tory Party Conference that no household will be able to claim more than £500 a week in total in benefits - the average family's take-home pay.

The cap - which will come into effect in April 2013 once local authorities have built schemes to administer it - will see most tenants evicted from rented properties who's landlords charge criminal rent levels. In Britains major cities private landlords rip off & overcharge tenants for rent, once again we see an ultra right wing government supporting big business & private landlords.

What we are seeing today in 2010 are the same policies that we saw in the late 80's. The policies propounded by Dame Shirley Porter and her Conservative colleagues and officials on Tory Westminster City Council in July 1989.

The council was engaged in gerrymandering, which was disgraceful and improper purpose, and not a purpose for which a local authority may act.

In 1972, Westminster council started a policy of "designated sales". In an effort to reduce its housing stock, when some homes fell vacant they were not re-let but sold. The numbers involved were small, some 20-30 homes a year. On 8 July 1987, the housing committee resolved to expand the policy by earmarking for sale 9,360 properties, 40 per cent of its total stock - a move that was expected to generate 500 sales a year.

The reason for the increase was the local government election of May 1986. Dame Shirley, who had been leader since 1983, suddenly found herself with a majority of just four.

In a paper called "Keeping Westminster Conservative", she set out her strategy for the next election in 1990. The critical point was that at local level the margin between electoral success and failure is tiny.

Her paper noted: "Conservative members of the council have identified eight key battlezone wards. The results of the 1990 local elections will depend on how people vote in these wards." The eight wards were marginal - a swing of just 70 votes in each could determine control - and "they have suffered particularly from the destabilisation of their resident middle class, the natural Conservative voter". The new, expanded, designated sales was aimed at these "key wards".

The Conservative Government with help from the Liberal Democrats are demonising, harrassing, patronising working class benefit claimants who are more likely to vote Labour in an election. The present Tory/ConDem government are creating "Boundary Changes" to enable themselves more likely to win at the next election. Deception of democracy is taking place, the government never got elected in the first place & yet they are laying the foundations to destroy democracy.

Politicians should be focusing on how they are going to meet the target to end child poverty in the UK by 2020 rather than perpetuating the myth of the undeserving poor. Children are the ones who'll end up suffering if a parent suddenly loses their job because of the economic crisis, or if their mum or dad becomes a single parent. Most children in poverty had at least one parent in work, but were still poor because their work was low paid.

Monday, 4 October 2010

British tories end universal welfare !

The universal welfare state moved a step closer
to destruction today when Chancellor George Osborne announced proposals to end child benefit payments for all higher-rate taxpayers.

Mr Osborne was speaking at the annual Tory conference in Birmingham where he revealed the benefit would be cut from those earning over £44,000 a year.

The Conservative Chancellor said the plan, to be introduced from 2013, aimed to raise around £1 billion that would be put towards plans to bring benefits together into a single universal credit.

It comes as Mr Osborne prepares to unveil massive cuts to Whitehall budgets in the spending review on October 20.

At present, child benefit is paid universally and is worth £20.30 a week for the first child and £13.40 a week for any other children.

Under the new restrictions families with two earners paying basic-rate tax would still receive the benefit even if their combined salary is more than £44,000.

This could mean households with a total income of £88,000 would still be eligible for child benefit while single-earner households taking home half that would lose out.

Mr Osborne admitted there would be "anomalies" and said this was because he did not want to introduce a complex means test into the child benefits system.

He added that he hoped higher rate taxpayers would do the sensible thing and stop claiming child benefit.

Left Economics Advisory Panel co-ordinator Andrew Fisher described the move as "an ideological attack on the principle of universal benefits" and believes that the £1bn saved will have little bearing on the economy.

He said: "If Mr Osborne is worried about lower-rate taxpayers subsidising the rich, why not raise taxes by charging 50 per cent on income over £100,000?"

"By 2013, child benefit will have been frozen for three years - a real-terms cut of 10 per cent to an already low level of benefit."

And Mr Osborne faces conflict with his Liberal Democrat peers as they voted to safeguard universal child benefits at their own party's annual conference in Liverpool last month.

He also upset charities, with Child Poverty Action Group's chief executive Alison Garnham arguing that hitting families with children was "very unfair."

Labour MP John McDonnell accused the Tories of using the economic crisis as an excuse to return to a Poor Law-type system in which benefits are distributed to the "deserving" poor and its recipients are stigmatised in an attempt to destroy the welfare state.

And he argued that the reason the coalition was delaying the introduction of this cut was for fear that the reaction from families set to lose out would add to the growing anger against swingeing cuts.

A Treasury spokeswoman said the reason the savings were not being made from taxation was because overspending had been identified as a key field in tackling the deficit.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Stop picking on the poorest

Blog Report, On Sunday's anti ConDem Demo in Birmingham at the Conservative Party Conference.

Thousands of trade unionists & unemployed marched past the Tory conference.

Ensuring an unpleasant Midlands welcome for delegates on the opening day of the conference, people from all walks of life braved soaking rain to declare their opposition to sweeping cuts in welfare and public sector spending.

Amid a heavy police presence, activists held a rally before the march with folk songs from local musicians Banner Theatre and speeches from leading figures in the trade union and anti-cuts networks.

Tory delegates and business leaders were due to discuss "people power" and "the big society" on the opening day of conference.

But the platitudes tied in poorly with the content of conference talks, which saw health and safety review chief Lord Young recommend a "rethink" of rules in local councils.

Proposed changes could see workers faced with more dangerous conditions on top of job cuts from a projected loss of 30 per cent of public sector funding.

Prime Minister David Cameron thinks that we are all getting a bit too excited about forthcoming changes to welfare benefits, urging us to put his government's public spending cuts "into perspective."

One of his ideas of perspective is to suggest that spending cuts of up to 40 per cent may not be as painful as some people think.

Another is to declare that the Con-Dem coalition's "refreshingly radical" changes to welfare will mean that people will always be better off in work.

It beggars belief that cutting spending by 40 per cent would have a less than drastic effect unless the government is suggesting that there is waste and inefficiency of that order across our public services.

As for people being better off in work than on benefits, there are two ways to achieve that.

One is to ensure that the minimum wage is equivalent to a living wage. The other is to degrade benefits to a level even lower than our current inadequate minimum wage.

Guess which alternative the Con-Dem Cabinet, three-quarters of whom are millionaires and multimillionaires, including Cameron, his deputy Nick Clegg and Chancellor George Osborne, is likely to favour.

The fallacy underlying the coalition government approach, in common with Labour's own welfare "reform" plans, is that there are vast numbers of jobs out there waiting for people currently claiming benefits.

Labour chose not to develop an industrial strategy, relying on a flexible labour market - making it cheaper for companies to close down workplaces and sack workers in Britain than elsewhere in Europe - to attract inward investment.

And this choice was a failure since many companies either went for the cheap option of investing in cheap-labour eastern Europe or, paradoxically, in high-wage Germany because of its impressive state-supported skills and training levels.

Gordon Brown's government responded earlier this year to union pleas to safeguard the vital Sheffield Forgemasters engineering firm, in Clegg's own constituency.

But no sooner was the well-heeled government cobbled together than it cancelled this arrangement.

So any idea that the new coalition will be more disposed to supporting job support and creation is doomed to failure.

Cameron and his cronies are intent on a public relations exercise to persuade public opinion that people on benefits are there because they are feckless ne'erdowells who need a kick up the backside to fend for themselves and their families.

They understand that majority opinion in Britain approves of the NHS and the welfare framework established after the war and so the Tories and their Liberal Democrats will not launch a full-frontal assault.

Their tactic is to spotlight apparent contradictions and attempt to build up a head of steam to undermine the universal ethos.

Millionaire Clegg's statement that he would be happy to give up his family's £2,450-a-year child benefit payments is irrelevant, as is speculation about whether highly paid footballers and pop stars should receive these universal payments.

Imposing a means test always results in a drop-off in benefits take-up, which is a contributory factor to, for example, pensioner poverty.

Child benefit and other universal payments to the seriously well-off can be clawed back through the inland revenue, as already happens.

Ministers worried about a budget deficit should stop picking on claimants and increase revenue income by raising the rate of taxation on big business and the rich and tackling tax avoidance havens.

Labour MPs Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, who have both campaigned constantly against the cuts agenda, brought solidarity from the Labour Representation Committee.

Mr McDonnell warned the Conservative Party that if the coalition government came for working people and their jobs and services "then we will come for you."

Keep the NHS public campaign group spokeswoman Dr Jackie Davis said the austerity and outsourcing measures spelled disaster for public sector workers, potentially making NHS employees "an endangered species."

GMB regional secretary Joe Morgan urged workers to recognise that "the only real power we have in this society is our industrial muscle."

"Contrary to the right-wing media lies, nobody wants to go on strike but, comrades, sometimes you have no choice,"

We brought down the Heath government with trade union action in the workplace. This time, with an alliance of union action and community campaigns we will defend our public services and drive then from office.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who has spent recent weeks doing the media circuit to try and justify savage attacks against people dependent on welfare provision, told his delegates that "good savings" could and would be made in welfare in order "to balance the budget."

But closing the rally, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka countered the PM, declaring co-ordinated strike action to be "inevitable" if these cuts were not shelved.

"We should say loud and clear, 'not one public sector job should be lost or one penny of public spending cut to pay for this crisis," he added.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Scotland's jobless hits new high

The number of jobless people in Scotland has soared to its highest level since the mid-1990s, according to new research published on Wednesday.

And in Glasgow City the number of adults on out-of-work benefits hit a worrying 24 per cent.

Across the country those figures grew by 1.4 per cent between November 2007 and November 2009, revealing a slightly worse picture than in England - despite faring better before the recession kicked in.

Following some years of progress on child poverty, the number of children in low-income households rose by 2 per cent in the last year of the recession.

Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland (CPAGS) said this must serve as "a wake-up call to both Holyrood and Westminster."

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Holyrood would be better able to tackle inequalities once full control of tax and benefits had been taken from London.

"In the meantime, we are continuing to press the UK government on its plans to change the welfare system so that the poorest families get the help they need," she said.

Communist Party of Britain Scottish committee member John Foster said the report highlighted the "extreme vulnerability of the Scottish economy."

And while he accepted that Westminster was responsible for benefits, he pointed to GMB research revealing that Holyrood had cut 20,000 jobs out of the 150,000 already announced by the Con-Dem coalition.

"This crisis demands a united response from all Scottish parliamentary parties and the trade union movement.

"The kind of response seen earlier this month when the future of the aircraft carriers was at risk."

CPAGS head John Dickie said the previous investment increases in benefits and child tax credits to decreases in child poverty, but the recent lack of investment threatened to undermine those gains.

He expressed concern that the benefits of past economic growth had not reached the poorest and called for a "fundamentally rethink" of how to tackle the underlying factors of child poverty.

He called on Holyrood to promote a living wage, particularly in the public sector, and see that its commitments to provide free school meals for all children in the first three years of education and to providing grants for uniforms were fairly and consistently distributed.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Demo at Tory Party Conference

Could people wanting to travel from down to the Tory Conference please let us know if they want to reserve seats - the bus is filling up, and we would like to get prior notice if another bus will be needed!

email: are the contact details. To reserve tickets for the bus email or phone 07885 475 183 / 07986 085 162

For list of buses going from other areas email us. You can reserve and be put on the list and be ensured a seat, if you get in touch soon!! Thanks very much, and look forward to seeing you all, cheers!

Tory Conference is on from Sun 3rd - Wed 6th October

This year's tory conference is being held at the ICC in Birmingham.

3rd October, Demo @ Tory Party Conference

Tell Cameron - Stuff Your Cuts, We Won't Pay

A national demonstration has been call outside the Tory Party annual conference on 3 October. David Cameron's party are meeting in Birmingham. We will assemble at 12 noon and, after a rally, the march will set off at 1pm.

The demonstration is supported by:
The PCS, NUJ, UCU and CWU, NUS, the Labour Represent
ation Committee, nationally, as well as many local trade union and campaign bodies.

Speakers include:

John McDonnell MP, Mark Serwotka,
general secretary of the PCS, Romayne Phoenix of the Green Party, Dr. Jacky Davis from Keep Our NHS Public, Birmingham Respect councillor, Salma Yaqoob, Linda Burnip, campaign co-ordinator Local Housing Allowance Reform Group, Dina Garane, Greek trade unionist and leading activist in general strikes, and Portuguese Left Bloc MP, Jorge Duarte Costa.

Supported by national unions - PCS, NUJ, UCU, CWU, NUS
Other sponsors of the march are - London Region FBU, London & Eastern Region Unite,

Unite Fujitsu UK Combine Committee, Unite IT & Communications National Sector Committee, Unite (TGWU Scotland Section), Scottish Housing Associations & Co-ops Branch, Unite Wembley/Hendon Branch, Tyneside Engineering Branch Unite; Birmingham, Ealing, Islington, South Gloucestershire, Wakefield, Sheffield & St Helens NUT Associations; PCS Central London Valuation;

Sheffield GMB S38 Branch;

Lancaster & Morcombe TUC; Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Preston, Barnsley, Cambridge, Huntingdon & St Neots, Plymouth, Camden, Ealing, Leeds & Nottingham, Dorchester/Weymouth, Portland, Colchester & District, Wakefield and Newcastle Trades Councils; South Central No. 1 Branch CWU, CWU Mount Pleasant Branch, South Yorkshire District Amal CWU Branch, Cambridge & Stevenage CWU; London Region UCU, Barnsley College UCU, Sheffield University UCU, Liverpool Metropolitan University UCU; Dundee UCU, UCU; Branch
Committee of University of East London Docklands UCU; Doncaster Unison, Lambeth Unison, Lewisham Unison, Oxford Unison Health Branch; Ealing Unison Branch, Southend on Sea BC Unison, Sandwell Unison, City and County of Swansea Unison, Portsmouth City Unison, Kirklees Unison, Rotherham Unison Health Branch, Sheffield Hallam University Unison Branch, Unison London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority, UNISON Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust; City of Edinburgh Unison; Liverpool NUJ; Birmingham & Coventry NUJ;
Sheffield District All Grades RMT Branch;

South Yorkshire Brigade Committee FBU; Sheffield Green Party;

Cambridgeshire Against the Cuts; Local Housing Allowance Reform Group; Refugee Workers' Cultural Assosiation;

Westefield and Halfway Tenants and Residents Association; Birmingham Friends of Moseley Road Baths Campaign; Stop the War Coalition, Hackney Stop the War Coalition; Defend the Whittington Hospital Coalition; Defend Council Housing; Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group.

Demonstration supported by London Region CWU.

Transport to the Tory Party Conference Demonstration

Transport is being arranged from around the country.

Coach leaves from outside Dundee High School
12 midnight, on Saturday 2nd October
Contact 07805 590 391
Coaches leave George Square at 7am. For tickets ring James 07708 295 900
Unite Scottish Housing Associations branch coach leaves George Square at 7am. For tickets ring 07939 372 493
Coach leaves Waterloo Place,
5am on Saturday 3rd October
Contact 07753 624 630 or for tickets
Coach leaves Preston Adelphi Roundabout 8.30.a.m. Coaches organised by Preston and South Ribble Trades Council. Contact Mick 07748083254.

Wigan Unison coach pick ups in both Leigh and Wigan. £10 waged and free for Unemployed, students and school students. Day time contact Wigan Unison Office 01942 235797, any other time Dave on 01942 726223.

Hardman Street, Liverpool 9am, £5 unwaged/low waged, £10/15 waged. contact for details.
Coach tickets are £5 (unwaged/low waged) £10 or £15 solidarity. Coaches will depart at 10am from Chorlton Street, leaving Birmingham at 5pm (provisional).
For tickets ring Andy 07825 158 944 or Jamie on 07970724441
Coach leaves West Yorkshire Playhouse 9am.
For tickets ring Paris 07863 899 227
Coach leaves Dalton Square 8am
Tickets £8 waged, £2 unwaged
Contact 07944 142 876

Coach leaves Kingston House Bond Street Hull City Centre at 9am, returns at 4-30pm. Tickets cost £5. Please call 07985 169 934 if you want tickets.


The Barnsley coach(es) are currently backed by Barnsley College UCU, Barnsley NUT, Barnsley TUC. We are hopeful of getting support from other unions. Will leave at 9.30am outside Barnsley Town Hall. Telephone 07594 857 960.


Coach leaves Paternoster Row at 9am. Tickets £10 wages, £5 unwaged. Contact 07890 088 456
Coach leaves from Chesterfield Town Hall, Rose Hill. Tickets £10 waged, £5 unwaged. Contact 07778 480 484 or or

07575 747 637


Leaving Mansfield at 9.15 outside the Rosemary Centre & picking up in Sutton in Ashfield, Kirkby in Ashfield, Hucknall & Nottingham at 10am leaving from outside Salutation Inn on Maid Marion Way. Ring 07940 952825 for tickets.

Coach leaves Full Street at 10.30am
Tickets cost £7 waged, £4 unwaged
Contact 01332 382321

Norwich Right to Work Coach Sunday 3rd October: 8am Theatre Royal, 8.15am UEA - Coach to Birmingham to protest at the Tory Party Conference

£18 Waged, £15 Unwaged (returns 7-8pm).

Please reply to to confirm your place or call Nick on 07717504210.


Coach organised by Cambridgeshire against the Cuts, supported by Cambridge Trades Council and Huntingdon & St Neots Trades Council, Cambridgeshire Unison and Cambridge NUT.

Leaves Cambridge picking up in Huntingdon.

Contact Steve 07904 171413 or Tom 0771 2893552 or on line at

For coach details contact Ian on 07790 532 513

For coach tickets and details call Paul on 07747395927

Supported by Harlow Against The Cuts.
Coach picks up at University of Essex at 8am, Colchester Town Centre 8:30am. Tickets £20 waged/£15 unwaged. Email or call Nathan on 07855928749 to book tickets.

Plymouth & Exeter
Plymouth Trades Union Council formally agreed to support the RtW Campaign and the 3rd October Demonstration and put on Transport - coaches to Birmingham will leave Plymouth Bretonside Bus Station at 8am on Sunday 3rd October, with pick-ups at Grenada Services, Sowton Exeter at 9am. Tickets are £15 waged, £10 unwaged and can be purchased in advance at or phone or text: 07803 620390. 07544822759
Contact 07544822759 for coach details & tickets.

Brighton coach departs 7.30 am at St Peter's Church, Richmond Place, Brighton. For tickets contact 07886308520

East Kent

Margate Cecil Square 7.30am

Whitstable Library 8am

Canterbury West Station 8.15am

Ticket prices £20 waged/solidarity, £10 unwaged

For tickets email:

Or ring 07768192687

West London
Coach leaves Ealing Broadway station 8.30am, picking up at Uxbridge station 9am. Ring 07751742370 for tickets and details.

North West London
Coach leaves Kilburn Square 8am, picking up Brent Trades Hall (Apollo Club) 8.20am, and Brent Town Hall 8.45am. For tickets an details ring 07951 084 101.
Central London
Coach leaves Euston at 8am.
For tickets contact Robin 07883860682
North London
Islington coach departs from outside Islington Town Hall, Upper St Islington at 8am. For tickets contact Adam 07535675350.
Haringey coach will leave Tottenham & pick up in Wood Green, contact Keith 07803167266.
East London
Coach leaves 8am from Mile End bus terminal (Junction of Grove Road and Mile End Road).
Coach leaves 8.15am from Stratford Stanstead Express bus stop (outside Stratford station).
Contact 07810 000 083.
Coach provisionally leaves Hackney Torn Hall 8am
For tickets ring Despina 07932714833
Waltham Forest
Coach leaves Walthamstow Central Station 8am, Tickets £10 unwaged, £15 waged, £20 solidarity price. Contact Sam 07961337640
South London
Southwark Town Hall 7am
Lambeth Town Hall 8am
Tooting Broadway 7.30am
Clapham Junction 8am
Woolwich DLR 7.30am
Lewisham station 8am
For tickets ring Rob 07930953265
Coach leaves 9am from Laura place, Bath

Tickets £10 waged, £5 unwaged

Contact for more info

We as Trade Unionists Call on People to Go to Birmingham

We want this to be a day where we can let Cameron and his toff Tory party know that we are not going to accept his cuts. The Tories are using the recession as an ideological weapon to push through cutbacks on a scale never seen before. They want to slash £11 billion from benefits, cut at least 25% from all government departments and impose a pay cut for millions of workers in the public sector.

We are sick of hearing from the Government that we are all in this together and must all accept cutbacks and tighten our belts. The rich caused this crisis, they should pay for it. The Tories along with the Liberals are coming for working class people while letting the rich get richer by slashing the level of corporation tax. In Northern Ireland we are faced with huge cuts coming directly from Stormont. They are looking to push through £1billion of cuts in the public sector.

Despite statements to the contrary from politicians, these cuts will have a massive impact on frontline services- with more closures of hospitals schools and other public services as a result of the cuts. If Cameron and the Tories have their way they will raise the retirement age to 70, attack millions of public sector workers and completely decimate the services we rely on. That is why we need people to get on the bus to Birmingham on October 3rd- to make it clear to David Cameron that we are not going to lie down while he wrecks the lives of millions. Instead we are ready for a fight back – a fight to defend jobs, services, workers and to defeat the cuts they are looking to impose.

Signed by

(All in a personal capacity)

Jimmy Kelly Regional Secretary Unite

Jim Barbour National Executive Fire Brigades Union

Jimmy Donaghy Shop Steward Unite

Gerry Mulaney CWU

Jim Reilly CWU

Gorreti Horgan UU Lecturer

Brian Kelly QUB Lecturer

Joanne Smit NIPSA

Ryan McKinney NIPSA

Dominic Murray Unison

Branch 8 NIPSA

Jim Larmour Unite

Naomi Connor NIPSA

Ryan Wilson NIPSA

Paddy McGinley NIPSA

Gerry Carroll Unite

Michael Black USDAW

Sean McVeigh NUJ