Anti-cuts, public services

Questions and answers on the cuts

Published on: Tue, 19/10/2010 - 12:04
Author

Martin Thomas

Q. The Lib/Tory coalition says that the government just has to make social cuts, in the same way as anyone who has "maxed out" their credit cards needs to cut back. Is that true?

A. No. In the first place, there is nothing impossible about the government continuing with a large budget deficit for a while. Governments can't "run out of money" in the same way that households or businesses can.

In the last analysis the question "where can the government get the money from?" can be answered simply: from the Bank of England printworks. There are limits on printing more cash, but the government is

How Labour should end austerity

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 07:31
Author

Chris Reynolds

Since 2010 austerity has ground down working-class living standards for the benefit of the ultra-rich. Life has been made meaner and more insecure.

Boris Johnson now says he will end austerity. But that is all a matter of previously-budgeted money being “recycled” and called expansion, and random promises to try to win a general election after which he will be free to do his right-wing worst for five years.

The NHS and social care have been squeezed so that waiting lists expand and A&E wait times explode. Hospitals routinely run at the upper limit of capacity, so that an epidemic, or an

Against “special needs” cuts

Published on: Wed, 05/06/2019 - 12:34
Author

Janine Booth

On Thursday 30 May, campaigners protested at twenty-eight locations around the country, demanding the reversal of cuts to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) funding. Organised mainly by parents and SEND kids, protests ranged from a handful of people with a banner to hundreds on town hall steps.

The centrepiece saw several thousand campaigners gather outside 10 Downing Street to hand in a petition. The National Education Union supported and promoted the protests, and its members turned out with banners in several locations. RMT also supported the protests. In some areas, Labour

Why the working class needs libraries

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2019 - 10:40
Author

Simon Nelson

Close to 650 libraries have closed in the UK since 2010. Some that remain “open” rely on volunteers, have no paid staff, and need grants and donations to run. In 2018 alone 130 libraries were shut down. More than 700 staff lost their jobs; the number of volunteers is now over 50,000.

The concept of the public library, free at the point of use, was pushed by The Free Library Movement, Victorian philanthropists aided by sections of the Chartist movement who worked for “improvement of the public”. The Libraries Act of 1850, put forward by Liberal MPs, and backed by a free libraries pioneer

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 15/05/2019 - 07:20
Author

Ollie Moore and Katy Dollar

Tube win against cuts

Cuts had been planned by London Underground to train maintenance schedules, to reduce the frequency of train safety checks, from 24-hourly to 96-hourly, or up to monthly or more on some lines. Fleet maintenance workers in the RMT union had set strikes for 17-20 May. RMT had also planned to demonstrate outside London’s City Hall on 16 May, highlighting Labour mayor Sadiq Khan’s failure to resist Tory cuts to Transport for London’s budget.

RMT reported on 14 May that the maintenance schedule cuts had been withdrawn, and has suspended action. Union general secretary Mick

Alarm bell for Labour

Published on: Wed, 08/05/2019 - 14:19
Author

Rhodri Evans

The local elections on 2 May gave an alarm bell to Labour.

The Tories lost 1,330 seats. They had expected to lose a lot. Those seats were last contested in 2015, on the same day that the Tories won the general election. They had not expected to lose so many. Since the reference point was 2015, Labour had expected to gain. In fact Labour lost 84 council seats. The Lib Dems had expected to gain. 2015 was a low point for them, when they were discredited by their 2010-15 coalition with the Tories. They gained more than they expected (704 seats). The Greens were up 194 seats. Almost as big a

Vote Labour in 2nd May local elections

Published on: Wed, 01/05/2019 - 13:04

Solidarity calls on readers to vote Labour in the local elections on 2 May, which cover one-third of the seats in almost all the metropolitan authorities in England (big cities outside London).

They cover almost all the “unitary authorities” (those which combine “county” and “district” powers): in some of those all seats are contested, in some only a third. Any they cover many district councils, and six mayoral elections.

The 8,804 seats involved were last contested in 2015, on the same day as the general election which the Tories won, and the Tories currently hold 5,521 of them.

Heavy losses

Schools: the most vulnerable lose out

Published on: Wed, 10/04/2019 - 12:36
Author

Ralph Higgins

By the government’s own reckoning, over 2,000 pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are not getting access to necessary resources and equipment because of funding cuts.

Since 2015 £5.4 billion has been cut from school budgets in England. The most vulnerable have been hit hardest.

A recent report by IPPR North found that SEND [Special Educational Needs and Disability] funding has been cut by 17% across England since 2015. The number of SEND and disability tribunal hearings has doubled in the past two years, with the decision favouring parents in 89 per cent of their cases.

Work

Children’s centres fight seeks link-up

Published on: Wed, 20/03/2019 - 08:21
Author

Katy Dollar

The campaign to save the children’s centres in Lambeth, south London, continues despite the Labour council’s vote to go ahead with closures.

The next step is a demonstration on Sunday 24 March, from 10.30 at Windrush Square, Brixton.

A recent report by the UK’s “big five” charities has confirmed that our children’s services are in crisis. Tory austerity is falling hardest on the country’s poorest and most vulnerable families, at a time when demand for services is rising and more and more children need vital support in their early years.

Every one of the 1,000 children’s centres that have been

Lambeth fight continues after budget vote

Published on: Wed, 20/02/2019 - 12:50
Author

Katy Dollar

On Wednesday 13 February, Lambeth Council voted through another cuts budget. The document included a line in a table cutting £500,000 from Children’s Services. Five children’s centres are to be closed, seven more will have their service provision cut, and staff across the borough will lose their jobs.

Outside the Town Hall, Labour members, trade unionists and families sung and chanted in protest. A deputation of mums addressed the Council meeting to explain how much the Centres mean and to propose an alternative. They distributed a counter-proposal, A Better Plan, written by the Lambeth

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