Anti-cuts, public services

Editorials - March 1995

Editorial comments on the ongoing influence of Stalinism in the British labour movement, the need for a campaign to defend the welfare state, and calling for justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

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Questions and answers on the cuts

Stop the cuts

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.

The "case" for the cuts is built on lies!

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Stop cuts in domestic violence services!

Author: 

Becky Crocker

Women activists have set up a direct action group, Sisters Uncut, to protest against cuts to domestic violence services.  Sisters Uncut held its first direct action on Saturday 14 February, to mark the spike in domestic violence that is usually recorded around Valentine’s Day.

Cuts to domestic violence services have reached a critical point.  According to a recent Women’s Aid report:

• Between 2010 and 2014 (July) the number of specialist refuge services decreased from 187 to 155.

Women activists have set up a direct action group, Sisters Uncut, to protest against cuts to domestic violence services. 

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Edinburgh fights cuts

On 12 February 2015 the City of Edinburgh Council, a Labour-SNP coalition, passed a budget with £22 million of cuts which will see a reduction of 1200 jobs from the council workforce.

Fiona Menzies from Edinburgh East Save Our Services told Solidarity: “This did not go unmarked. Community and trade union activists both lobbied outside the council and delivered inspiring deputations inside. People can get some idea of the range of groups and the arguments being made by watching the deputations on the council webcam.

Edinburgh Council, a Labour-SNP coalition, has passed a budget with £22 million of cuts which will see a reduction of 1,200 jobs from the council workforce.

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Save Lambeth Libraries!

Author: 

Ruth Cashman, Lambeth Unison Shop Steward

Lambeth Council has announced devastating cuts to the Library Service.

The proposals include:

• Closing half of Lambeth’s libraries

• The immediate sell-off of Minet and Waterloo Libraries

• Stopping funding to Carnegie, Durning and Upper Norwood Libraries

• Reducing the size of West Norwood and Brixton Libraries

• Replacing Libraries with bookshelves in pubs

Lambeth Council has announced devastating cuts to the Library Service.

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Working through the contradictions

Author: 

Kieran Miles

I had been interested in politics from a young age, but I thought being political meant watching the news and paying attention in history lessons. It wasn’t until the Tories were elected in summer 2010 that I began to think about politics in a serious way. I was horrified by the cuts.

Socialists can convince millions of people if we can just work through the contradictions in their heads, and our own. Every paper sale, every demo, every union branch, campaign meeting, or picket line, is an opportunity to do just that.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Equalise the wealth!

Author: 

Editorial

According to NHS bosses, the Health Service needs an extra £8 billion a year by 2020 to cope with an ageing population and new medical technologies. Or a total of £30 billion on top of the Government’s projections.

Those figures, £8 billion and £30 billion, are both both big numbers. They are much bigger than the £2.5 billion which the Labour leaders have promised to add to the NHS budget from a mansion tax.

They are also small. They are small compared to the £297 billion which is the total wealth of just the hundred richest people in Britain.

Worldwide, a tiny minority, just the richest 1%, own more than 48% of global wealth. Just 85 of the world’s richest people own £1,000 billion between them, as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world’s population.

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Mobilise against council cuts!

Author: 

Editorial

The Local Government Association, which represents local councils, warned on 19 November that "services will buckle under the strain of further cuts".

Back in July it had already warned: "The funding gap is growing at an average of £2.1 billion a year, adding up to £12.4 billion by the end of [this] decade".

The National Audit Office has estimated (1 November) a 37% real-terms reduction in government funding to local authorities between 2010-11 to 2015-16.

Local authorities with the highest levels of disadvantage are facing the greatest cuts.

The Local Government Association, which represents local councils, warned on 19 November that "services will buckle under the strain of further cuts".

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Tories plan to double cuts

Author: 

Editorial

The Tories’ declared budget plans mean more and more cuts, and at an accelerating rate, in 2015-20.

On top of the £25 billion cut from annual budgets between 2010-11 and 2014-5, they would cut another £48 billion from those budgets by 2018-9.

The Financial Times estimated the numbers from official statistics and the Tories’ declared intention to have the government budget in overall surplus (current income covering both current and capital spending) by 2020.

The Tories’ declared budget plans mean more and more cuts, and at an accelerating rate, in 2015-20.

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Disability news

Author: 

Janine Booth, co-chair, TUC Disabled Workers’ Committee (personal capacity)

The Independent Living Fund provides funding for severely disabled people to live independently in their own homes and participate in society — so it's an obvious target for the Tory-LibDem government to cut!

Mike Penney, then minister for (attacking) disabled people, announced in March this year that the Fund would close immediately to new applicants and then close completely. Disabled people's organisations and trade unions have campaigned vigorously against this appalling cut. 

Cuts hit hardest the people who need services most, especially those with disabilities.

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