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STOP THE CUTS - HANDS OFF OUR PENSIONS!
Local activists are invited to a strike rally being held in
AFTER THE ELECTIONS
After 5 weeks of campaigning, the Scottish Government is looking forward to getting down to business at Holyrood. For MSPs of all parties this means a new term and new faces in parliament. So that's that then. Life will be rosy and we can relax, safe in the knowledge that the new Government has our best interests at heart... if only it were true!
The reality is that for workers and communities across Scotland, nothing has changed. Cuts are still on the agenda. Politicians from all parties, including the SNP, are still peddling the lie that slashing budgets is the order of the day...nasty but necessary. They think they have convinced us that they need to make brutal cuts to Government and local council budgets, but that somehow jobs, and services to the poor and the vulnerable, will be shielded from this.
To say that cuts are necessary, and can be made without affecting the most vulnerable in our society, is a downright lie. Ask the people who use the Accord Centre in Dalmarnock, whose facilities are being axed? They have not been protected from the cuts. The Accord Centre, a day care centre run by the City Council for adults with disabilities, is threatened with closure - to make way for a bus park for the Commonwealth Games! Parents and users of the centre have been told that due to the 'economic climate' there will be no new day centre - but have been given no information about what services will be available for them.
Talk to the thousands of disabled people who are being forced off their benefits . Ask them if they have been shielded from the cuts. Atos Origin have just been awarded a £300 million contract by the coalition Government to continue to use a testing system that means people with terminal illnesses and severe medical conditions are being declared fit for work and having their benefits cut. Plans to scrap Disability Living Allowance means that this testing is likely to be applied to everyone in receipt of a disability or health related benefit. And thousands of public sector jobs are under threat. Workers will be forced on to the dole with no hope of finding work in the private sector. And what will happen to the people who rely on the services those workers provide, services which will disappear completely? The effects of cuts being made up and down Scotland is already being felt.
But whilst ordinary folk are being made to pay for the excesses and greed of a few, the super rich are getting even richer! Figures just published (The Sunday Times Rich List, 7th May 11) show that the number of millionaires in the UK has increased this year by 20, from 53 to 73. Their wealth has gone up by 18% ! So much for the lie that the pain of the cuts is being spread fairly!
No surprise then that the fight back against these cuts is well under way. Anti cuts groups are being formed across communities as more and more people realise what is about to hit them. Community groups, the disabled,students and trade unionists have been out in force (see local reports in this paper) voicing their opposition and making it clear that they will not roll over and accept the decimation of their communities and the services we all depend on.
All anti cuts groups, whether organised in communities,by students or through Trade Union branches are essential in the fight to oppose the cuts in their particular areas and workplaces. But to be really effective, all of these groups need to be linked to a mass movement that unites everyone who is involved in the fightback against cuts.
The Scottish Anti Cuts Alliance (SACA) was founded in January this year with the aim of building that mass opposition. SACA's key principles include opposition to all cuts, and the demand that politicians vote against cuts,and set needs budgets that protect public services and jobs.
Since SACA was launched many anti cuts groups and Trade Union organisations have agreed with those principles and affiliated to SACA. These include PCS Scotland, Glasgow City Unison, Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Unison, and Unite Scottish Housing & Co-ops Branch. The SACA Steering Committee includes delegates from Unison SCRA, Lanarkshire United against the Cuts, Defend Glasgow Services, Dundee Unemployed Support Group, Black Triangle and Youth Fight for Jobs, all committed to building a strong,effective campaign against the onslaught of cuts that we face.SACA has helped build and co-ordinate support for anti cuts protests, lobbies of councils and demonstrations across Scotland,including rallies in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Lanarkshire.
SACA affiliates travelled in numbers to take part in the 500,00 strong demo in London on March 26th. But demonstrations alone are not enough. We have to step up the campaign.
We need to link the anti cuts struggles taking place in communities with co-ordinated strike action by trade unions.As our jobs and services come under further attack, we must continue to build a strong, united opposition. The rich will do everything in their power to protect their wealth, at our expense. We must be just as determined to fight off these savage attacks. We need to work together to build the mass movement that will be vital if we are to protect our jobs and services and defeat the cuts. I therefore urge all community anti cuts groups, students, disabled groups, and Trade Union's to affiliate to SACA.
To affiliate, for more information, or to invite a SACA speaker to your anti cuts group or TU branch, contact SACA here