Since the Government came to power in May and due to their plans for ideologically driven cuts to public spending many ordinary people stand to be affected by this unprecedented savagery.
The cuts surgically target the poor, with the poorest 10% of households being hit around 15 times harder than the richest 10% of households. Women bear the brunt of the cuts in terms of loss of public service provision and reduced welfare entitlements. Job losses hit women particularly hard as 65% of public sector workers are female.
The most vulnerable people, including pensioners and the disabled, suffer more than most. If the Con/Dem coalition is able to get away with these cuts many public and private sector workers would also lose their jobs. These coalition cuts are not a matter of political necessity but of political choice. However, there is an alternative – around £120 billion a year is lost through tax dodging.
Tackling this would raise billions. £4.7 billion a year could be raised by introducing a 50% tax rate on incomes over £100,000.
Also due to the NHS funding proposals if Primary Care Trusts are replaced by GP commissioning, the way is open for further privatisation and marketisation of our NHS. The beacon of hope is the stirrings of protest around the country from the student protests against the rise in tuition fees and cuts to education to the commitment of the TUC to support union members taking action against cuts. We have seen just the beginnings of the resistance to the ConDem coalition.
All of us can play our part in deepening the resistance to the Con/Dem Government by going on the national TUC demonstration in London on March 26th. Let’s make this a massive show of anger the Government can’t ignore.
UNISON NEC MEMBER NORTH WEST REGION