SUPPORT SOUTHAMPTON PEOPLE’S BUDGET
A BUDGET TO MEET THE NEEDS OF THE CITY. A BUDGET TO FIGHT FOR!
Saturday 9 January 2pm, Meon Suite, James Matthews Building, Guildhall Square, Southampton. All welcome, full access.
What is a people’s budget?
It is a budget that is set to meet the genuine needs of the people who live and work in the city. It bases itself on the belief that Sotonians as service users, local authority or private sector workers and their trade unions, community groups or individuals, know about how to maintain and improve jobs and services. It is an alternative to the austerity driven agenda of the Tory government.
Sounds interesting, how would it work?
As a first step we want people to come together to talk about the current state of services in the city and what we need. From this the council could set a budget based on those needs, not driven by austerity. Support across the city can then be built to demand the government restores funding to deliver the services we need. Cuts are hugely unpopular, a People’s Budget would gain enormous support. This would then be costed and presented as an alternative to the cuts being proposed by the other parties.
I don’t like services being cut but haven’t the council tried everything already?
Every year local politicians ram down our throats the idea that austerity and cuts are the only option. The election of Jeremy Corbyn in September shows that there is genuine interest and support for a different approach. He has said that cuts are unnecessary and do not need to be made. We agree and call upon Southampton Labour led city council to adopt this idea.
We can’t spend money we don’t have can we?
Local councils have financial reserves and specific borrowing powers to enable them to fund a budget that would improve lives instead of ruining them. Southampton Labour Council must use these powers to set a legal, balanced, no cuts budget. Such a stand would gain massive support and force the government to restore council funding to the city. Jeremy Corbyn must back such a stand and give a commitment that a future Labour government would restore any money borrowed to protect jobs and services.
The Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition opposes all cuts to jobs and services and calls on Labour councils and councillors to refuse to implement Tory cuts. TUSC was launched in 2010 by transport trade union leader Bob Crow. In Southampton we support Coxford Councillors Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, Councillors Against Cuts.
For more information contact Nick Chaffey 07833 681910 or visit http://www.tusc.org.uk
The trial of Ian Duncan Smith
A protest against social benefit Sanctions.
Southampton high street served a different purpose than usual today as the setting for the trial of the synonymous Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith and his crimes against the poverty stricken masses of Great Britain. A bustling crowd of union activists slowly gathered in in the Above Bar area today outside the city’s Green and pleasant Palmerston park. After a few photos the crowd mobilised and a grey suited man with a Iain Duncan Smith mask started hassling passers civilians with jibes . .
“What are you all doing laying about, that’s it ,you’re all sanctioned”
“ Why aren’t you at work? Are you a single mother?” and later on
“I could live on £50 a week but I don’t have to , so I don’t”
IDS led the joint procession of Unite and TUSC activists to loud chants of
“Same old story, lying Tory” and “lock him up, throw away the key”
IDS was marched up the high street by the crowd before being arrested and handcuffed to a mock –Police officer. The crowd gathered outside the Southampton Bargate (the setting for Southampton courthouse in medieval times) At the jeers of the crowd IDS was placed in a ball and chains and marched onwards for a street theatre style trial outside Southampton Jobcentre.
The event was essentially in protest of Ian Duncan Smith’s Benefits sanction
“under which a jobseeker can automatically lose their benefits for low-level offences like missing an interview with their Jobcentre adviser” (Huffingtonspost[online]8Jan15)*
The atmosphere seemed mainly jovial with all protestors politely following the procession on foot. A few startled public shoppers looked with mixed emotions. As we got to the jobcentre I couldn’t help but notice the chortling from the jobseekers outside when Ian Duncan Smith arrived in ball & chains.
The jovial atmosphere eventually cooled as the cold hard reality set in. As IDS took to the artificial dock a union representative read the names of all those jobseekers who paid with their lives for this form revoked sickness benefit
Yes, that’s right! People have actually died from this Government’s ongoing debacle, masked under austerity the government continue to find new ways to rob the poorest of society of their social rights and basic living cost.
(Poor people, of course nobody rich or born of privilege has ever been threatened)
A cap on social benefits which has been accused of targeting the sick and elderly. Huffington Post reported on the 8th Jan 15 that a review has been carried out on the sanctions with discerning consequences ‘particularly the effect on mentally ill and disabled”.
Oldham MP Debbie Abrahams went one further back in November last year stating . .
“People are dying because of these sanctions” (Mancunian matters [online]7Nov14)*
Sadly this was the case for David Clapson, the diabetic jobseeker who had one weeks benefits stopped from the sanctions process and couldn’t even afford the electricity to keep his insulin chilled. ( Guardian [online]9Sept14)#
A DWP commissioned review carried out by Matthew Oakley, a welfare expert with experience from both the Treasury and private industry enterprise ‘Policy Exchange’ stated the most vulnerable in society are at risk.
*[Huffington Post article from 8Jan15 available online here http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/01/08/iain-duncan-smith-benefit-sanctions_n_6434852.html ]
**Mancunian Matters article available online here: http://www.mancunianmatters.co.uk/content/071171549-%E2%80%98people-are-dying%E2%80%99-oldham-mp-blasts-iain-duncan-smith-over-benefit-claim-sanctions
#The Guardian article from 9Sep14 available online here : www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/09/david-clapson-benefit-sanctions-death-government-policies
Channel 4s Immigration Street is a dead end. Join the campaign for jobs and housing in Solidarity Street!
Tonight, Channel 4 will broadcast their infamous Immigration Street series, now cut to just one show and one hour. Whatever the result, their intentions to sensationalise and profit by exploiting tensions in society over immigration, have been severely limited by the solidarity in the Newtown community to boycott the show.
Like its notorious cousin, Benefits Street, produced for Channel 4 by the ironically named Love Productions, Immigration Street seeks to denigrate and sow prejudice, part of the establishment tactic of scapegoating sections of society for the problems we face.
They rightly fear the united opposition of all working people, regardless of race or nationality, fighting the government’s austerity programme and building support for real answers to the problems we face. Tonights programme won’t show the struggles of Southampton communities to stand together in defence of jobs, pay and services at Southampton City council. It won’t show the victory of low paid cleaners at the General Hospital who united in strike action to defeat the attempts of Medirest to underpay their staff, cleaning staff made up of workers from seven different countries.
In the last few months Southampton has seen strikes of the local fire fighters, council workers and health workers united on picket lines fighting to take their families out of the poverty of 5 years of wage restraint. Will Immigration Street report how austerity has left a quarter of Southampton’s children growing up in poverty?
Anti-cuts campaigners have fought to stop cuts to the NHS in the closure of the Bitterne Walk-In Centre as well as threats to the future of day centres and care homes in the city. Plans to close the Bitterne Walk-In Centre were put on hold due to the strong opposition from the community.
It is essential we reject any attempts to blame the problems of the city’s housing shortage, cuts to jobs and pay at the hands of migrant workers. Who closed the Fords factory, who cut the wages of council workers, who sold all the council homes off? The problems we are facing stem from the attempts to make ordinary people pay for the economic crisis created by the bankers, their friends in big business and their bought politicians in Westminster.
That is why the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition is opposed to Immigration Street and has backed the community boycott of the programme. That is why we are campaigning against the council cuts and fighting for the restoration of council funding, stolen from the city since 2010. We need to build a united campaign of the trade unions, all workers and our local communities in a mass campaign to pressure the next government to provide the necessary funding to meet the needs of the city. To end the housing crisis, to tackle poverty and provide services for young and old that see everyone flourish and enjoy the benefits of prosperity, we need to campaign for a real alternative to austerity that sees the wealth we create used for the benefit of all. Join the campaign of you agree.
After two years of Tory council cuts from Royston Smith, since elected to run the council in 2012, Labour have continued to swing the axe. A vote for Labour on May 22nd is a vote for £30 million of cuts and privatisation to Southampton jobs and services.
We need councillors like Keith Morrell and Don Thomas in Coxford, Southampton who refused to vote for cuts and fought the Labour council to save Oaklands Swimming Pool.
That is why TUSC supporters are campaigning to re-elect Keith Morrell in Coxford, Southampton.
Let’s fight the ConDem government for the money Southampton needs to provide, jobs, affordable housing, and services for the young, old and vulnerable.
Bargate • David Rawlinson
Bassett • Neil Kelly
Bevois • Andrew Howe
Bitterne • Declan Clune
Bitterne Park • Linda Boulton
Freemantle • Mike Marx
Harefield • Graham O’Reilly
Millbrook • Josh Asker & Tara Bosworth
(you have two votes in Millbrook due to bi-election)
Peartree • Phil Snider
Portswood • Nick Chaffey
Redbridge • Kieran Wilson
Shirley • Gary Laxton
Sholing • Darren Galpin
Swaythling • Kev Hayes
Woolston • Sue Atkins