Together, we can...
...STOP THE CUTS!
* Save our services!
* Fight for every job!
* Hands off our retirement!
People and communities before profit and privatisation!
“Bankers, Politicians, Fat Cats – We Won't Pay For Their Crisis!”
* Anti-Cuts Demo – Saturday 5th February, Abbey Courtyard, 12 midday
* Public Meeting – Tuesday 15th February, Friends Meeting House, York Street (near Abbey Green), 7.30pm
It's time to fight back against the cuts!
The Con-Dem spending review has now been released, and it is as bad as everyone expected. By raising our retirement age, freezing our wages, undermining welfare, tripling tuition fees (as well as scrapping humanities and arts departments in Higher Education, and the E.M.A. benefit), upping VAT to 20% and destroying our much-needed public services, this government has introduced a spending review that hits the poorest and most vulnerable in society hardest, and leaves the rich and the bankers virtually unscathed. And the scandal of private companies being handed over control of health services will mean widespread hospital closures, and the complete destruction of the NHS.
While we suffer, the Sunday Times' Rich List reported that the wealthiest 1,000 UK citizens have seen their fortunes increase by £77 billion over the past year. This increase alone would be enough to pay for the Tory budget measures, AND leave those 1,000 individuals £38 million each better off than last year! Restoring corporate tax to pre-Thatcher levels (£27.5 billion), closing down the rich's tax loopholes (£95 billion) and collecting their unpaid taxes (£28 billion), as well as getting troops out of the Middle East (£4.5 billion) and scrapping Trident (£97 billion) – these steps would also heal the deficit... But the budget has more to do with the old Tory policies of privatisation, public sector cuts and looking out for their rich mates, than it does about helping average people. Indeed, the current cabinet includes 18 millionaires, and over half went to private school: no, we're not “all in this together”.
And all this is taking place whilst banks (over here and in Ireland) and companies like Marks & Spencer, SABMiller (brewers of Grolsch), Cadbury's, Boots/TopShop and Vodafone are graciously allowed to opt out of the taxes they owe – with the latter two owing £300 million and £6 billion respectively.
Meanwhile, B&NES Council are making their own plans to carry out the government's cuts, including cutting 400 or more council jobs over four years, as well as privatising or winding down its youth services, healthcare, adult support services and libraries, as well as thousands of MoD jobs to be lost from all three Bath sites. In fact, by adopting its proposed new buzzword role of being an 'enabler' rather than a 'provider' of services, the council itself will cease to have any relevance, or power to do its job and serve its community, in any way.
What can we do to stop these cuts?
Just like with the fight against the Poll Tax at the beginning of the 1990s, a massive campaign has been started to defend our services and fight back against the cuts, up and down the country. We can win, but we need as many people as possible to stand up against these cuts and to defend their jobs and communities.
In Bath, the Bath Anti-Cuts Alliance has already held several large meetings and protests, and consists of a mixture of trades union members, socialists, students, anarchists, community activists and others, and meets fortnightly. To get involved in the campaign, or to let us know about cuts in your workplace or community, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org