Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Anti-cuts meeting slams "flaky" government


Trade unionists and community campaigners joined together to launch North Wales Against Cuts at a packed public meeting in Wrexham last night.

The campaign attracted support from prominent local trade unionists, those fighting cuts in the community as well as people on disability benefits who fear plans by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition to reduce public spending budgets by as much as a quarter.

Among the speakers were PCS union activist Steve Ryan, who works at Wrexham's tax office. He said:

"The extent of the attack on the working class is now apparent. Rises in VAT, cuts to benefits and public services all affect those worst off most. They are even getting ready to kick you out of your council house and interest rates are set to rise sharply.

"We must fight back. We must form campaign groups in all our communities. The experience of fighting the Poll Tax 20 years ago shows what determined resistance can do - it brought down Thatcher, a far stronger governement than the weak coalition we have at present. Everyone should come together now and form the resistance. Join us."

Craig Lewis, a lecturer working in Wrexham, pointed out that the Tories and their friends in the press were spinning a myth that the debt was historically high. He added:

"It's also a myth that we can't afford our public services - this is an ideological attack on the public sector disguised as a need to reduce the deficit."

He called for the maximum possible unity between groups affected by the coming cuts and said the coalition government was vulnerable because it was so "flaky".

Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Leanne Wood said there were cuts to be made in the pay of top officials in the public sector but added her weight to a popular campaign against cutting frontline services.

In a comment from the floor, a local woman attacked the coalition government's view that living on benefits was a "lifestyle choice". She said: "Having MS is not a lifestyle choice".

Join the North Wales Against Cuts Facebook group here to find out more about future campaign events.

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