Join me on #Oct20
On October 20th I will be demonstrating against the Tory-led coalition’s austerity measures. I will be joined by tens of thousands of trade unionists, community groups and service users who will be marching to tell the government why they have got it wrong.
As a public sector worker I have seen how the impact of the cuts has been felt by the staff who have lost their jobs, the families they support, and the members of the public who relied on the services they provided. However, for those who remain in public service the pay freeze against a back drop of rising cost of living and in many cases a fall in household income (in some cases becoming the only earner) is also starting to bite. In my own sector we have not had a cost of living increase for three years, for many this is simply unsustainable.
Over the last few years while our pay has remained frozen and costs of living have shot up we have basically been told we should be grateful to have jobs at all. They tell us that our employment and the hard work that goes in to provide public services is somehow the product of government overspending on such a scale it caused a financial crisis. Such farcical claims are clearly politically motivated. Any debt from public spending is dwarfed by the amount that was spent on bailing out the banks. And major investment in our schools and hospitals, including significant capital programmes, is not excessive overspending but making up for years of under investment in health and education services that so many of us rely on.
The privileged millionaires in the cabinet may not value public services, and may not even use them but we need to show them that they matter to us – the majority who use and work hard to deliver them in difficult times whilst they prioritise a tax cut for themselves.
The coalition’s policies are failing, austerity isn’t working. The jobs being lost from the public sector are not being replaced in the private sector contributing to a rising welfare bill and a stagnant economy. Further, the disproportionate impact of cuts in the North, will only exacerbate the North-South wealth divide as the private sector is a proportionately higher employer in London and the South East.
This is why it is important that so many of us March in London on October 20th. We need to build on the previous TUC demonstration last March, last September at the Tory conference and the pension marches last November.
This is not a strong government and we need to exploit that in defence of our public services and terms and conditions. We have already seen them back down on forest privatisation, and on pasties and caravans. We have seen them have to go running to the armed services for help when the private sector failed them, only days after axing their jobs. We have seen how our national industrial action on pensions has forced them into a revised position.
Keep October 20th free. Come to London. Bring your family. Join tens of thousands or more of us in telling the government that austerity is not working. Make your voice heard.